Stephen Quinn was just a 15-year old savager on the trail with his dad and grandfather. He had no idea how soon his world would come tumbling down, and how quickly he would have to rebuild it. In The Eleventh Plague, a sci-fi novel by Jeff Hirsch, there has been a war between China and the United States causing a collapse and a plague throughout the U.S. Stephen Quinn, a cautious, skeptical, and ambitious young man, is born into this world of chaos. Sadly, Stephen has lost both his mother and grandfather to this eleventh plague. Once he and his father were on their own, Stephen’s dad gets into an accident and falls into a coma. Luckily, Stephen is able to find Settlers Landing where he meets many new people who teach him about friendship, civilization, trust, giving, life before the collapse, and how it has changed. During the story, chaos falls upon Settler’s Landing, and everyone has to work together to try and save their civilization.
This was such a great book to read. Hirsch does such a great job describing setting. He is so detailed and I always felt like I was part of the story. In the story Stephen grows so much in the book after his grandpa dies, and Hirsch shows how his thoughts and feeling change so well. The theme of this book is survival and loss, since Stephen has to survive without his family. Since Stephen doesn’t have his family to depend on, he doubts himself a lot, but as he grows he learns to trust himself and others more. I would recommend this book to any middle school or high school student who enjoys reading sci-fi novels.