Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
A death-struck year
2014
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find it! Availability' section below.
Find it! Availability
Annotations

Determined to ride out the deadly Spanish influenza epic of 1918 in her home rather than in the quarantined boarding-school dorms of the Pacific Northwest, headstrong 17-year-old Cleo volunteers with the Red Cross and witnesses harrowing realities while falling in love with a handsome medical student. A first novel. 20,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

When the Spanish influenza epidemic reaches Portland, Oregon, in 1918, seventeen-year-old Cleo leaves behind the comfort of her boarding school to work for the Red Cross. - (Baker & Taylor)

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country'that's how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode'and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can't ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?
   Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?
   An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.

A Spring 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices selection

- (Houghton)

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country—that's how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode—and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can't ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?
   Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?
   An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.

A Spring 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices selection

- (Houghton)

A deadly pandemic, a budding romance, and the heartache of loss make for a stunning coming-of-age teen debut about the struggle to survive during the 1918 flu.

- (Houghton)

Author Biography

Makiia Lucier’s journalistic skills shine in this riveting historical fiction debut. She has a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she studied literature for children. She lives in Moscow, Idaho, with her family.
- (Houghton)

Makiia Lucier's journalistic skills shine in this riveting historical fiction debut. She has a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin'milwaukee, where she studied literature for children. She lives in Moscow, Idaho, with her family.
- (Houghton)

Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

It's 1918 and the Spanish flu is ravaging the East Coast. But surely Portland, home of 17-year-old schoolgirl Cleo, is "too far west for the influenza." Well, it's not. When 200 reports of the flu pop up overnight, those children without family to pick them up are quarantined inside the boarding school. Cleo sneaks out and heads home, only to find that her guardian is delayed, leaving her alone for weeks—at least. She is compelled to volunteer with the Red Cross, donning a white cloth mask and doing the dangerous work of going door-to-door to rescue those incapacitated by illness. Lucier's debut details Cleo's loss of innocence, as she deals with gruesome deaths and emergency surgeries—not to mention side issues such as anti-German sentiment and learning what "birth control" means. This has a rather old-fashioned rhythm, with numerous small incidents supplying readers with a broad (rather than deep) understanding of the era and the epidemic via a spirited and easy-to-relate-to protagonist. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up—Seventeen-year-old Cleo Berry frets over an uncertain future devoid of plans, dreams, and ambitions. However, when the Spanish influenza strikes her hometown of Portland, Oregon, she does not hesitate to volunteer for the American Red Cross. Lucier's vividly accurate description of the 1918 pandemic will make readers tremble over the teen's fate, wondering whether she will be next on the list of victims. Cleo faces the ultimate dilemma: Given a choice between herself and others, who will she choose in the face of calamity? The pace of the writing is swift, and the author spares little in her account of those afflicted and others who sacrificed their own lives to help save them: loved ones and strangers burying individuals on their own without burial societies, members of the Red Cross going door-to-door in search of the sick, and young people dying as easily as their elders from the disease. This first-person narrative is as much Cleo's coming-of-age story as it is a full historical account of the pandemic. The novel's strong voice intimately places readers directly into the dramatic plot right up to climactic ending. Nothing is sugarcoated, making this a difficult pick for the squeamish, who may not easily tolerate the abundant flow of blood and raging fever throughout. The mood of almost hopeless desperation that mounts toward the second half of the book cannot be readily shaken off. In the same vein of Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever 1793 (S. & S., 2000), Lucier's debut novel deserves a place in all high school collections.—Etta Anton, Yeshiva of Central Queens, NY

[Page 169]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1