Two Masters of Children’s Literature Tackle Armageddon
Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville 1998
Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville, household names for many young adult readers, have teamed for the first time to create a novel of truly epic proportions—a bold reflection on the end of the world as we know it. With the millenium fast approaching, Armageddon has become a topic of conversation and speculation and Yolen and Coville have obviously heard the rumblings. In Armageddon Summer, the award wining authors explore powerful themes—faith and friendship, love and loss, and the things that matter most at the end of the world –through the perspectives of their fictional teenage characters, Marina and Jed.
Revened Beelson has told his congregation that the world will end on July 27, 2000. Marina’s mom believes him, as does Jed’s dad. That’s why they drag the two teens to join the Reverend’s flock at a mountain retreat. From the mountaintop they will all descend to begin the world anew.
Yolen wrote Marina’s voice and Coville created Jed’s. The two authors considered collaborating via e-mail or by mailing chapters back and forth to each other, but they found that it worked best for Coville to occasionally drive the five hundred miles to Yolen’s house, where they wrote intensely together for a week at a time. Yolen would write a chapter from Marina’s point of view and then give it to Coville, who would write Jed’s chapter and then give it to Yolen. Their mutual competitiveness spurred them on and they finished roughly half the novel during their first week together.
Harcourt Brace Children’s Books