Book Review- Alas, Babylon

What would happen if America was hit by nuclear bombs? Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank explores the possible consequences to individuals, communities and the nation in the event of a massive attack leading to government shut down. As Randy, poorly prepared but serious about survival, struggles to keep his brothers’ family alive, we are presented with all the possible obstacles–physical, mental, societal, governmental, even spiritual–that such a scenario might present us with. Forced to consider what we would do in many types of emergencies, this story helps us think through how we can be better prepared for all of life’s challenges.

Themes: leadership; preparation; relationships; thinking vs. reacting; fear

Principle: Proper preparation in any area of life makes crisis more bearable.

Read with: Wild Swans; Red Scarf Girl; Left to Tell; The Hiding Place; Man’s Search for Meaning; The 5000 Year Leap

Discussion Questions:
1- What are some principles of personal preparation? How can you better live these?
2- Why was there looting and highway robbery? Is this realistic? What can be done about it in times of emergency? Did Randy handle it properly?
3- What could Randy have done differently to prepare? What about the others in his town? 4- Why did some people just give up? Why did some survive better than others?

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