After the First Death describes the terrorist hijacking of a summer camp bus full of children. The main characters include Kate, a high school student driving the bus, Miro, one of the terrorists, and Ben, the son of a general for an anti-terrorism group. The story is mostly written from the point of view of Kate, Miro and Ben, switching back and forth, and brief sections are told from the point of view of some other characters Kate is driving the bus when it is hijacked by four terrorists, Miro, Artkin, Antibbe and Stroll. The terrorists force Kate to drive the bus to an old, worn-down railroad bridge, where a drawn-out siege begins, the terrorists threatening to kill one child for every attack by the police or death of a terrorist. The terrorists are working to "free" their homeland, which is never named specifically but could be assumed from their descriptions to be a Middle Eastern, or African country.
The various themes explored in the texts include the parallel made through the father-son relationship between Ben, the General, Miro and Artkin. Some of these themes are Courage, Survival, Resilience, Sacrifice, Endurance, and being wise.