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DryBy Neal Shusterman

Southern California is experiencing a drought that has lasted for many months.  Water conservation practices are well underway, including the “No Frivolous Use” policy, which means people can’t even use their pools anymore.  But no one expects the taps to go dry.  One day, out of the blue, there is no more water for cooking, washing or even drinking.

Alyssa Morrow and her little brother Garrett are sure it won’t last – the electricity always comes back on after a power outage, right?  Their parents assure them that desalinization machines are being brought to the beaches to change sea water into fresh water.  Everything is going to be fine.

As the days pass, people get more thirsty and become more desperate.  Alyssa’s neighbour, Kelton, has no worries though – his family has been preparing for this for years.  They have stockpiled food, water, and medical supplies.  Their home is utterly secure from intruders.  Kelton is willing to help Alyssa, despite his parents’ desire to keep their preparedness to themselves.

But when Alyssa’s parents go missing, and the neighbours try to invade Kelton’s house, the two teens decide to take Garrett and leave for Kelton’s family’s bug-out – a survival shelter hidden in the backcountry.

Their journey is far more difficult than they bargained for.  As they negotiate their way into an off-road vehicle and a box of water, Kelton, Alyssa and others they pick up along the way, learn what they are really capable of.  As they struggle to survive, they behave in ways they never normally would.  Their decisions will make the difference between life and death, and they do what they have to do.

Dry is an amazing survival story, and for those who like disaster movies, this is a must read!  But Dry is also terrifying because the story is so close to reality.  In a place like California, or even here in Richmond, the distance from “water restrictions” to complete “tap-out” might be closer than you think.  How far would you be willing to go to survive?