Gone is the first in a series of Young Adult Fiction novels by Michael Grant. I read it because some of my students are reading it for class and also because they loved it – one has been hanging on for the sixth and final book, Light.
Although far less literary, there are clear parallels to Lord of the Flies here. In the blink of an eye, every adult in Perdido Beach disappears. Later, the children discover a dome that has placed itself over the whole area, closing them in among themselves. It makes a direct circle from the Nuclear Power Plant.
This poses a number of questions. Where are the adults? How are they going to survive? What will they eat? How will they look after the younger children? and most importantly, who will lead and maintain order in what they are now calling the Fallout Alley Youth Zone (the FAYZ)?
To make all of this more complicated, Grant gives some of the characters superpowers and introduces something called ‘The Darkness’ that seems to have its own agenda in the FAYZ. A lot for young people to like, but missing the key ingredient and complexities that will also draw in older readers.