After The Bomb
by Gloria Miklowitz
"After the Bomb", written by Gloria Miklowitz is a
thrilling novel that takes place before, during, and after
a bomb that was accidentally sent from Russia struck L.A.
and surrounding cities.
Philip Singer, a teenager ends up in a position of being
the head of his family. His brother Matt is awfully sick,
possibly from radiation, his father was away at work during
the blast and for all Philip knows he might be dead, and
his mother was severely injured and needs immediate
Hospitals are flooded with injured and dying people and the
government doesn't send help for a few days. The badly
injured don't even get the chance to be helped because the
hospitals have to send the ones that are likely going to
live to hospitals that specialize in burns. His mother is
so badly burned that the hospitals put her on the bottom of
the list to be flown to a burn center.
By the end of the novel, Philip has shown a great deal of
courage and has not only helped his family but the town. He
truly survived the terror, shock, and danger of the bomb.
The novel goes through a couple of settings such as,
Philip's struggle to keep his family alive after the
attack, and the problems that confront the Los Angeles
area. When the bomb hits, Philip is playing in a playroom
shelter with his brother and his girlfriend. When they feel
the blast, they go out to find out what had happened and
find burning houses, their house only left with one wall,
rubble on the ground, debris all over the place, and people
running frantically for shelter. Philip's brother rushes to
find their mother amongst the debris which was once their
house. He is successful and brings her to the shelter. As a
result of being exposed to radiation, he becomes extremely
ill. . Philip struggles to keep his brother from getting
even more sick than he is and to bring his mother who is
badly burned to a hospital.
The devastation that Philip saw was indescribeable.The
entire surrounding area of Los Angeles was affected and
Churches, Hospitals, and streets were crowded with sick,
dying, and even dead people. Hospitals that were built to
care for only 200 people now housed thousands. There was a
shortage of food, doctors, medical supplies and water.
Philip's struggle for survival had only begun.
The plot of the novel consists of Philip's struggle to get
his mother to a burn center that could save her life, bring
his family to safety, and save his town from thirst. When
Philip arrives at the hospital with his mom, the government
and hospital had already started flying patients to burn
centers, but his mom was too sick and burnt and the
hospital couldn't care for her. She was placed on the
bottom of the list to be flown out as the hospital wanted
to first fly out the least of the neediest patients. Philip
is extremely concerned about his mother and feels that she
will die unless he does something to help her. He secretly
switches the tag that has been placed on his mom with one
that says an earlier number so that she would beeligible to
receive help earlier. This act most probably saved her
Another example of quick thinking on the part of Philip was
when he tried to find a safer place of shelter for his
mother and brother. Being concerned that the shelter might
collapse, he went up outside to check out the surroundings.
Seeing that his neighbor's house was miraculously intact,
Philip found the owner and his wife in good shape and
arranged to bring his family to the neighbor's cool
basement for safety and refuge.
A third example was when the hospital in his town was
almost out of water and Philip was asked by a nurse to find
a worker that works with the town' s plumbing. He did so
and the hospital was able to get water. In addition, he
also thought of having water drained from a resident's pool
in an unaffected area and was able to arrange to have it
flown to the hospital.
"After the Bomb" is an exciting and stimulating novel which
shows the leadership capabilities of a teenager in an
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