Downwind Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Downwind

Ephraim and his parents and siblings flee from a nuclear meltdown. Ephraim is a pre-teenager who has to escape from a nuclear power plant meltdown. Ephraim Dearborn lives with his parents Carrie and Gabe, his brother Bones, his sister Jocelyn, and his baby brother Caleb in a town where there is a nuclear power plant. His parents tell him that there has been an accident at the the nuclear power plant, and everyone in the town has to evacuate, because they are downwind from the power plant and are in danger of being exposed to high levels of radiation. Ephraim is scared, and he is not looking forward to a long road trip with his annoying siblings, but he tries to be brave because he is the oldest. The family packs up a small number of possessions and sets out in Ephraim's father's pickup truck, in search of a safer place to live. Ephraim and his siblings are upset because their parents do not let them bring their dog and cat, and the children do not know if they will ever see their pets again. The highway is crowded, and traffic moves very slowly, because everyone is trying to get away from the nuclear meltdown. Everyone listens to the radio for more news about the nuclear accident. Jocelyn falls asleep in the pickup truck and vomits when she wakes up. Ephraim is scared, because he does not know whether she is carsick or whether she has radiation poisoning. By the end of the book, the future is still uncertain, but Ephraim is more grown up, and he appreciates his family more.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Best part of story, including ending: I liked the story because the characters overcame their differences when it was most important.

Best scene in story: I liked the scene near the beginning when Ephraim was arguing with his brother Bones about what to watch on television, because it depicted sibling rivalry in a funny and realistic way.

Opinion about the main character: I liked Ephraim because I could relate to his annoyance with his younger siblings and because he overcame his fears and behaved courageously.

The review of this Book prepared by Jennifer Tobkin a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Downwind

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Disaster, natural or nuclear    -   Yes Kind of disaster:    -   post nuclear war Kid or adult book?    -   Ages 7-14

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Downwind

Louise Moeri Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian