06-01-2019

What if you woke up tomorrow and everything had changed? Money is worthless. Your friends are gone. Armed Robbers roam the street. No one is safe.

For Matt and his little brother, Taco, that nightmare is a reality. Their only hope of survival is to escape through the Channel Tunnel. But danger waits on the other side…

We live in the twenty first century – a time where everything is easily available at the touch of a button and also a time where we children tend to complain about the smallest things. “Why something looks a certain way, why we are forced to eat vegetables instead of chocolates, why we can’t watch that last episode before bedtime?”

We children are cheeky – it often takes hours of complaining, but eventually, we get our way – if we don’t like something, we won’t let it happen.

Taco and Matt are children just like us; their situation though, is utterly monstrous. They are used to be living in a happy household full of peace and harmony, but after the raids broke out in England, it was as though they didn’t know what peace nor harmony meant anymore. Just about two days ago, the largest problem in Taco’s life was the fact that he had to eat watery soup with swede in it  – and then two days later, he found himself starving, witnessing his grandfather being shot, illegally fleeing to France on a truck, and not to mention, leaving his home, school, mother and injured grandmother behind.

The Book “After Tomorrow” written by Gillian Cross has the genres of young adult and dystopian fiction, expressing the moral that everything in this world is precious and we should show our full gratitude for whatever we have.

So it’s no longer safe for Matt and his brother Taco due to their house already being raided more than twice in less than a week and so their mother believes their only hope is to escape the UK through the Channel Tunnel before it’s closed for good. The boys make it through hidden in the back of a truck but France isn’t much better. They’re sent to a makeshift refugee camp called Lemon Dough where there are lack of tents, food is still in short supply and medical care is unaffordable due to the overload of other people that fled to the camp too.

Life is truly different for the two protagonists of the story, the siblings all of a sudden are being forced to live in such harsh conditions. The same swede that Taco would have hated a few days ago was now something he would crave for – he was hungry, he was tired, he was torn… But most importantly, despite being such a tender age, he realised that everything had a value.

After Tomorrow is a beautiful book with a beautiful life-lesson: be grateful for today and never take anything for granted. Life is a blessing. The book is definitely a worthwhile read – it may have an intense plotline, but that intensity just takes us one step closer to hope and appreciation.

 

– Himakshi Shastri, Year 8, Dubai College.