The Flooded Earth Reviews

School Library Journal

Title: The Flooded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama Press“Originally published in Australia, this adventure novel is a strong series opener with a unique and timely concept. The fast-paced story will keep readers engaged, and solid world building will draw readers into this fascinating cli-fi (climate fiction) tale. VERDICT A timely addition to most middle grade collections.”
—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ

Read the full review in the September 2018 issue of School Library Journal


“Set 40 years after a flood that ravages most of the earth, this series starter finds two twins on an epic adventure at sea….McConnochie covers serious topics prevalent today through the journeys of four kids who provide touches of innocence in this gritty world, each with their own tragedies and obstacles that they turn to one another for help overcoming. A bright adventure that touches upon a range of intense themes, from climate change to the refugee crisis.”
Elizabeth Konkel

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The Horn Book Magazine

“McConnochie does a fine job of world-building, creating vivid images of abandoned waterfront communities and also developing the technical and governing structures that shape that world. The plot-driven adventure is deepened by interactions and revelations that shape the characters as they make their way across the ocean.”
—Sarah Rettger

Read the full review in the March/April 2019 issue of Horn Book Magazine

Kirkus Reviews

“A high-seas adventure stars 12-year-old twins Will and Annalie, who seek their missing father in a flooded, post-ecological-collapse world….As is typical of the cli-fi genre, McConnochie explores current-world issues within her adventure. Climate refugees and strict immigration laws have created a permanent underclass and a human trafficking problem, which privileged Essie begins to understand when the adventurers are joined by a starving former slave boy….Despite the post-disaster setting, an exciting and old-fashioned sailboat quest with pirates, secret codes, storms, and cannibals.”

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Foreword Reviews

“The novel matches teenage wits against those of corrupt government officials, with the teens proving more formidable than anyone expects them to be. It somehow handles grand and troubling questions in a gentle, musing way. The magnificent capabilities of the book’s determined young leads emerge as The Flooded Earth’s dominant force. Readers of this first in the series will be eager to learn where the team’s sailboat takes them next—and whether Graham will be patient through the adventure.”

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School Library Connection

“Questions of valuing human life, responsibly caring for the environment, proactively responding to natural disasters, and thoughtfully considering governmental authority could emerge as a result of reading this book…these advanced themes makes the story richer…In a racially charged society, focusing character development on relationships, rather than physical attributes, is mentally refreshing. The first installment in this “cli-fi” series will have readers craving more adventures with Will and Annalie.

—Dr. Michelle Hudiburg, Assistant Professor of School Library and Educational Technology, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas

Read the full review in the January/February 2019 issue of School Library Connection

Tulsa Book Review

“We rated this book: [5/5]…The journey is more than just a search for their father but an uncovering of secrets and the reveal of betrayal. McConnochie explores a variety of themes including refugees, climate change, slavery, and bullying. The Flooded Earth is the journey of two siblings as they brave open waters to find their father and encounter along the way a variety of dangers in this gritty cli-fi world of water.”
—Elizabeth Konkel

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CM Magazine

“A taut, suspenseful, masterfully written ‘cli-fi’ thriller, The Flooded Earth combines the best of speculative fiction with strong characterization and moral dilemma. The post-Flood world is described in vivid detail, from the high-class world of Annalie’s boarding school to the damp, ramshackle, gang-infested world of their home neighborhood known as Lowtown….

It is interesting that the author has chosen not to set the book in recognizable geography or nations—where is Dux (whose citizens apparently speak Duxan) and the Moon Island archipelago? Yet their world seems very familiar, as if set in the near future after an enormous rupture….[R]eaders will find themselves…exhilarated, and begging for more. Highly Recommended.
—Todd Kyle

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Youth Services Book Review

What did you like about the book?…This is the first book in a planned trilogy. It was first published in Australia. I have never seen the phrase “cli-fi” (climate change-based science fiction) used before, but it definitely seems to be an emerging genre. I found this book to be well-paced, full of adventure and an exciting read. Current issues explored in this book besides climate change include immigrant issues, poverty, human trafficking and more.

To whom would you recommend this book? Students who are interested in speculative fiction, straight up adventure fiction or fiction related to climate change will like this book.”
Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

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Canadian Bookworm

“This is obviously the first in a series of books following the children, and I am dying to find out the next adventures for them. The author is well-known for both children’s and adult fiction in Australia, and I am pleased to discover her.”

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Angie Brand’s Classroom

“This intriguing story of friendship, family, and adventure is perfect for middle grade students, both boys and girls. Some may relate to Will, a boy who doubts himself but feels responsible for the outcome of everything around him. Annalie is an intelligent girl, who is compassionate and would rather let Will think he’s running the show than step in and take over even when she knows he’s wrong. Essie is in the midst of family turmoil, but would do anything for her best friend. Finally, Pod has never known family, happiness, or security, and when he finds these three things in his new friends he shows true loyalty and love….Thankfully, the next book in the series (The Castle in the Sea) comes out in June, and it is already on my to-read list!”

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