Phoenix Rising (novel)

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Phoenix Rising is a 1994 book by Karen Hesse. It is a realistic fiction book about a 13 year old girl named Nyle and her grandmother, and how their lives are disrupted by a nuclear accident. Everyone that lives anywhere near the accident suddenly has to wear masks, test everywhere for high levels of radiation, and watch everything they eat and drink to make sure it's not contaminated until the government gives the all clear. Nyle and her grandmother live together on a farm in Vermont, near the nuclear plant in Cookshire. She and her grandmother take in two evacuees from the accident. The boy, 15-year-old Ezra Trent, absorbed a large amount of radiation and is very sick, yet there is no room in any of the hospitals for him. His father had died less than a week ago at the time Nyle and her grandmother take them in, due to radiation poisoning. Nyle is terrified to let herself care about him because she believes that if she lets herself care for him, she will end up losing him, just like her mother and grandfather. He and his mother, Miriam Trent, end up staying in the back bedroom, which Nyle calls 'the dying room' because that is where her mother and grandfather had died when they were sick. She pushes Ezra away, but they eventually end up growing closer as he gets better.

Karen Hesse is a Newbery medal-winning author.

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