Pandemic By Yvonne Ventresca
The 2015 SCBWI Crystal Kite Winner for the Atlantic region!

Even under the most normal circumstances, high school can be a painful and confusing time. Unfortunately, Lilianna’s circumstances are anything but normal. Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn pessimist she has become, but her situation isn’t about to get any better. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil’s worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak—her father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey—Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread illness and fatal disaster. Now, she’s more alone than she’s been since the “incident” at her school months ago.

With friends and neighbors dying all around her, Lil does everything she can just to survive. But as the disease rages on, so does an unexpected tension as Lil is torn between an old ex and a new romantic interest. Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door. In this thrilling debut from author Yvonne Ventresca, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
AuthorBy Yvonne Ventresca
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
ImprintSky Pony Press
Published6 May 2014
Dimensions5.50 x 8.25in.

About the author

Yvonne Ventresca is a young adult author with two previously published nonfiction books and numerous articles for print and online publications. She currently resides with her husband and two teenage children in New Jersey.

"Ventresca's debut novel will appeal to those who love realistic coming of age stories, romances, or disaster fiction. Bravo!" —Mike Mullin, award-winning author of the Ashfall Trilogy

"Yvonne Ventresca’s debut novel hits the ground running and never stops until the last page. This fast paced story about a teen who struggles to regain her sense of safety after an assault will have you reading well into the night. Pandemic is an exciting new addition to Young Adult books." —C. Lee McKenzie, author of Sliding on the Edge and The Princess of Las Pulgas

"You’ll be rooting for Lil and Jay!" —Debbie Dadey, author and coauthor of The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series and the Mermaid Tales series

"A suspenseful, authentic and emotional narrative. . . . Riveting and terrifyingly real with moments of hope that shine through when you least expect it, Pandemic is one that will stay with you long after you read the last page." —Amalie Howard, author of the Aquarathi series, The Almost Girl series, and Alpha Goddess

"This is an engrossing apocalyptic story, told through Lil’s eyes and newsfeeds as her neighborhood, then the East Coast, and finally the entire U.S. buckles to its knees as the pandemic spreads. . . . Themes of friendship and coming together in a crisis carry the novel." —School Library Journal

"There is no shortage of tension or death and a few gruesomely dead bodies, but teen disaster fans will likely appreciate that the high schoolers are portrayed as good, helpful people, but certainly not perfect. This fast read will appeal to fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s ." —Booklist

"As part of my Cybils reading, I came across a book called Pandemic. I'm a huge fan of pandemics(in theory only of course). In fact, I have the movie Contagion on my DVR and watch it quite often,much to The Mr.'s dismay. So I was immediately intrigued by this title and looking forward to reading it. It did not disappoint, but it turned out to be a very interesting read for reasons that I was not expecting.
Pandemic is an interesting book because it is about a pandemic, but it also turns out to be a book about the effects of sexual violence on its main character, something I was not expecting at all. I thought that it handled several of the issues really well and was quite pleased with the way that
Ventresca is able to show the long term effects of sexual violence on our main character in a unique situation.
When we first meet Lilliann, she is out of school and it is quite clear that *something* happened between her and a male teacher which is being investigated and has had a profound impact on her. She has developed some obsessive fears and anxieties, informed in part by her parents work in infectious diseases (a minor plot convenience that you have to overlook). Both of her parents are away when the pandemic starts, leaving Lillian on her own. It starts slowly, with occasional news reports, and then it becomes clear that this is the real deal. Kids are left without parents, neighborhoods begin to fall into chaos, and wandering bands of looters start trying to find the resources necessary to survive. Because of her OCD/Anxiety issues that have arisen as a result of her teacher issues, Lillian was in the process of hoarding food. In the beginning she is set up to survive quite nicely, but over time a variety of circumstances play out that put her in a precarious position.
And in the midst of all of this she is still left to deal with the emotional consequences of this event that has happened to her. It doesn't just go away because she is in a life or death situation. She is still plagued by shame, doubt, confusion, anxiety and fear and these emotions impact the decisions
she makes in the midst of this pandemic. They impact how she can or can't engage with other survivors to try and find help, or to provide it. They impact how she reacts in some very key moments of crisis. The effects of her experience never stop informing who she is and how she acts, even in the midst of a much more imminent crisis, which I think is important and profound because it highlights the long term effects that survivors of sexual violence can experience. They reorient Lilliann in such a way, shifting the core of who she is, that it continue to inform how she views the world and the decisions she makes, much as it can for real world sexual violence survivors.
There is another very interesting thing that we see happening in Pandemic as well as we see how others react when someone discloses that they are the victim of sexual abuse. Why don't people disclose/report right away we often hear. But the truth is, even those that do report immediately aren't treated in a way that supports victims. Lillian has two best friends and they each respond
quite differently when Lilliann comes forward with her allegations. One friend is believing and supportive while the second is anything but. Even in the midst of a changing world, this second friend is disbelieving and at times cruel and vindictive, blaming her friend for the actions of an adult or accusing her of outright lying.
In the midst of all of this is also some really interesting reflections on the idea of forgiveness, particularly the idea of forgiving those who commit acts of sexual violence against us. Can survivors forgive those who harm them? Should they? Do they have an obligation to? There is no one right 1answer to this question, some survivors do and some do not. But it is interesting to read Lillian's story and ponder whether or not she can forgive the teacher that harms her in the midst of a dying world. It puts a pressing perspective on a very real life question. By taking these scenarios into extremes, Ventresca gives us a safe way to discuss very real issues surrounding the topic of sexual
To be clear, this is at the end of the day a book about a pandemic and if you like those types of reads (like me), it's a pretty good one. There is all the tension that comes as we read about loved ones dying, the slow disintegration of our normal routines, and the attempts to keep oneself fed and safe when all the normal channels cease to function. Ventresca just manages to take it to new and interesting places by making her main character one who is forced to deal with the emotional struggles of abuse in the midst of the end of the world." —School Library Journal "Book Review: Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca (The #SVYALit Project)"

ISBNs: 9781628736090 978-1-62873-609-0 Title: pandemic category:JUV ISBNs: 9781628739602 978-1-62873-960-2 Title: pandemic category:JUV 
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