Storm by Donna Jo Napoli
Dystopian novels for teens are big these days. Thanks to their compelling writing, dashes of romance and mature themes, crossover novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent have gained wide popularity among adults. But dystopian novels are usually set in a futuristic society-gone-wrong, not in a mythic biblical past, as popular YA author Donna Jo Napoli attempts in this cleverly re-imagined tale of Noah’s ark. This apocalyptic vision of the well-known story is populated with realistic characters who learn to live by their wits when their world is destroyed.
By the end of the first chapter, 16-year-old Sebah (who is unrelated to Noah and lives miles away from where the ark was built) struggles to survive after losing her home and family in the flood. She takes shelter in a tree along with her small cat and another random survivor, a boy named Aban. They build a raft and hope for the best. When the giant boat floats by in the distance, Sebah figures out a way to get on board with the help of a wise pair of bonobos.