Title: Epitaph Road
Author: David Patneaude
Publisher: Egmont USA
Concepts: human resources, economics of gender, jobs, occupations
Review: In this post-apocalyptic thriller, fourteen-year old Kellen Dent becomes enmeshed in a race against time to find his father and save him from another outbreak of a deadly virus that kills men and boys. With the first outbreak three decades earlier, the virus killed about 97 percent of the world's male population. Most of the men and boys spared from the devastation at the time happened to be staying in remote locations, including Kellen's father.
Since the original outbreak in 2067, women had taken over all leadership positions, and they consolidated their control through what became the world's most powerful organization, the Population Apportionment Council (PAC). Kellen's mother worked in one of PAC's top positions, but Kellen soon discovered that PAC - and his mother - had a more manipulative role in the origins of the virus than he could ever have imagined.
The book weaves several messages about the political power and economic status of men and women into its action-packed pages. Before the virus hit, men disproportionately occupied the world's more influential positions and caused most of the world's violence and destruction, while after the virus women took over all the high-status occupations and leadership posts. The resulting status quo may have entailed the end of violence and aggression as it was known, but as Kellen discovered, getting to that point involved an altogether different kind of evil that caused just as much pain and suffering.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children