The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

Feiwel and Friends, 2008     ISBN: 0312370156

The country suffers a nuclear attack when Eli and his family are on a camping trip. Fortunately, they have been prepared for this, and their father leads them to a huge, well-constructed, and well-stocked bunker where they can survive for at least fifteen years–the soonest he considers safe for the family to leave. Unfortunately, Eli’s twin, Eddy, their grandmother, and their dog, Cocoa, don’t make it in time.

The story starts in the sixth year of their confinement, and things have been going wrong: the livestock have all died, the replacement bulbs for the hydroponic gardens are in very short supply, the flour has gone bad, and the plans for future food are morally reprehensible.

Then Eli discovers that they are not disconnected from the Internet as his father has all along claimed. This leads him to doubt everything they have been told, and as he uncovers more and more lies perpetrated by his father, Eli realizes they must escape.

The tension builds and Eli and the rest of them find themselves racing against time as the diabolical plans of his father are revealed.

Moral dilemmas combined with tense plot action make this a good read.

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