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Question #72597 posted on 05/21/2013 6:34 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In a high school English class my teacher was talking about a book that sounded interesting and I wanted to read it but forgot what it was called, as well as the name of the author. My attempts to find it have been for naught which brings me here. This question is mildly spoilerific I might add, but since I don't know the book I'm not sure exactly what I'm spoiling.

From what I can remember the plot was something like a group of people are living in a forest and it's a fairly... rustic society I suppose. Plot happens but I have no idea what, and at the end the reader finds out (plot twist!) that these are actually the remains of humanity after some apocalyptic or dystopia-making event because the end reveals the ruins of the formerly advanced society, after the whole book makes it sound like it's set in the past.

So my question is, could you kindly tell me the title and author of said book? I'm pretty sure it's not /that/ obscure of one but like I said I haven't been able to find it.



Dear Sunfish,

I'd just like to unhelpfully point out that this sounds pretty similar to Margaret Peterson Haddix's novel Running Out of Time, except the old timey village was secretly in the middle of 1996 civilization, not a post-apocalyptic setting. Maybe if you got some plot summary mixed up this is what you're thinking of? It's a pretty well-known book.



Dear Oarfish,

After scouring the internet and racking my brain for too long, I came up with...nothing. I think your best bet is to check out Concealocanth's recommendation of Running Out of Time. Your description also reminded me of The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, but it has quite a few things different from what you're thinking. If it's not either of those, it must be something pretty obscure. Good luck!


posted on 05/21/2013 1:34 p.m.
Sounds like Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry.
posted on 05/21/2013 1:34 p.m.
The Aliance by Gerald Lund, maybe.

posted on 05/21/2013 1:34 p.m.
This plot fits lots of different stories. The one that I read that comes to mind is Ayn Rand's Anthem. It was a high school English book assigned to us. Not set in the past though. Agrarian society. No sense of the individual. One man with inquisitive mind rediscovers lots of stuff. Nobody wants to accept it. He falls in love and the two of them eventually flee. They end up living in ruins miles away from anybody. And there they rediscover the individual - the first person, singular was entirely missing from their society. And it makes a big difference in thought. "We with our two legs..." being one of the ways Rand tried to show the difficulty the main character had in describing self when he began to think more individually without having the vocabulary to do so.

Another series that fits it except for being set in the past is John Christopher's "The Tripods" series. Aliens who come and are in charge of the earth. Everyone gets "capped" at 16. Once capped everyone is compliant. So any rebellion against them comes from the young teenagers who manage to escape and meet up with adults who escaped earlier and grew up without capping.

A Canticle for Liebowitz is also set in the future but is basically a story of cyclical history.

Even The Giver by Lois Lowry fits to a degree.

Hope this helps some.

posted on 05/21/2013 1:34 p.m.
The book that came to my mind as I read your question was Messenger by Lois Lowry. It's the second book in a series about a post-disaster world. She also (this is unrelated) wrote Number the Stars, which is a fantastic book about a Jewish family trying to escape to a safe country during World War 2.

I hope find your book!

posted on 06/05/2013 2:05 p.m.
It could also be "Pathfinder" by Orson Scott Card.

posted on 06/05/2013 2:50 p.m.
I would like to say that although it is a newer book, Veronica Roth's Divergent (and the sequel, Insurgent) fit this description.