The Eleventh Plague

The Eleventh Plague

Paperback | September 1, 2012

byJeff Hirsch

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Jeff Hirsch's stunning debut is now in paperback!

In the aftermath of a war, America's landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material. But when Stephen's grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler's Landing, a community that seems too good to be true. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler's Landing-and their lives-forever.

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The Eleventh Plague

Paperback | September 1, 2012
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From the Publisher

Jeff Hirsch's stunning debut is now in paperback!In the aftermath of a war, America's landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material. B...

JEFF HIRSCH graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with an MFA in Dramatic Writing. The Eleventh Plague is his debut novel. He lives in Astoria, New York, with his wife, and you can visit him online at

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.04 × 5.3 × 0.59 inPublished:September 1, 2012Publisher:SCHOLASTIC INCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545290155

ISBN - 13:9780545290159

Customer Reviews of The Eleventh Plague


Rated 2 out of 5 by from It was okay. I read this book in my late elementary school year, and I was kind of disappointing in the ending. However, in terms of writing - it was an easy piece to read, I found it medium paced, and a good balance of character and scenario development. This book however, is what got me into apocalyptic and Dystopian style books.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Different from other Post-Apocalyptic Novels I read this book around the same time I was reading The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), the Maze Runner (James Dashner), Divergent (Veronica Roth), and Delirum (Lauren Oliver) and I thought that it would fall into the same sort of story plotline. However, Stephen's story differs from the typical dystopian novel. First off, it's set right after the world-ending, often cataclysmic event that wipes out the human population and sets the remaining humans back to times before the modern technological age, alone to fend for themselves and try to make a decent life. There aren't any developed governments in this story, with no underlying notion of trying not to recreate the mistakes of the past, but ultimately failing. Stephen is fresh in the environment of deserted American wastelands and computers that serve little use when you are freezing to death and starving. With this difference, i thought that the story would focus more on physical and moral survival, when the threat of death is enough for main characters to do some pretty heinous acts in order to keep themselves, and their family, alive. I thought that Stephen would have to worry about what to do when there is no food and very little water to last them until who knows when (much more like Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"). Instead, it was still more of a coming-of-age, trying to fit into a society (or a survivalist society anyway) type of book. One that, despite not indicating anything of the sort for the main character, manages to force in a love story with the only other similar-age character. It seems awkward, and even though they still want a young teen character to experience all the normal things that developing teens experience, it seems odd to have it on the backdrop of a post-apocalypse world, with serious threats of starvation and land ownership warfare. Overall though it's a good read if you're waiting in between books of dystopian series, or if you've read them all but still need something in that genre to fill the time.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The eleventh plague This book was awesome. Great for anyone from age 12 to 16.
Date published: 2014-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow What a thrill ride, so many ups and downs, don't let the slow start fool you. I couldn't put it down
Date published: 2014-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow I loved this book so much that i want there to be a sequel. It was just so amazing and it left you on a easy settling cliff hanger but you still want to read more, this book was amazing and made me think that this would probably happen to us if the plague even came. You grew to the characters and all of it was just so cool. Thank you for having this book in the Ebook Store!
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Eleventh Hour: A must have! I really liked this book! It had a lot of action,and a great storyline. This book is similar to the hunger games.Its about a utopian society gone wrong, so it is about a distopia. In this book the main character is named Stephen. He is very shy at first,but makes a fatal mistake by playing a dangerous prank. This book is extremely interesting and it is very relateible since it happens so close to our country and generation.This book will definitely get you questioning many of the things that we deem acceptable in our society.This book really highlights the problems today in our society. Fossil fuels are running out,natural resources are being polluted, and all it took was 1 little misunderstanding to start the whole war. In all this is a very interesting book,and a great read. In my opinion it is a must have!
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Great post apocalyptic book! Loved it
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from perfect for reluctant readers The Good Stuff Realistically dark and intense yet has a hopeful message within Has a bit of The Road/The Stand feeling to it Stephen is an intriguing character, you often understand his actions even if you don't agree with them This is a good story for those boys who really just don't enjoy reading - fast paced, intense and violent (nothing too graphic though) Doesn't drag too much which was perfect for my state of mind while reading Unpredictable Nice to see some light moments amidst the darkness Teens that act like teens - not like mini adults - refreshing For reluctant readers the little glimpses of back story are fabulous (I wanted a bit more, but I think these types of books are brilliant for engaging kids who dislike reading) Realistic post-apocalyptic setting - very believable The Not So Good Stuff I really didn't like Jenny -- found her unpleasant and selfish Did I mention how much I disliked Jenny - Stephen could do so much better Favorite Quotes/Passages " When I was in med school," she explained. "one of my teachers told me that my only job was to treat the patient in front of me. He said I couldn't change the world, I could just treat what's in front of me." "Grandpa had told me a hundred times that life wasn't fair and that expecting it to be was for fools.' "Because there was a time when people helped each other," she said. '"And that made the world a little bit better. Not perfect, but better. We'd like to think we can have that time back." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Perfect for the reluctant reader A fab story for classroom discussion 4 Dewey's I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review
Date published: 2012-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Kept me wanting more Much has changed in America in the past two decades. After a very virulent flu has wiped out two thirds of the population, the survivors are working to establish a new lifestyle. Some have adopted a nomadic approach where they search for salvage, roaming hundreds to thousands of miles each year. Others have settled in small enclaves where they barricade themselves from marauders and neighbouring settlements. Fifteen year old Stephen Quinn has spent his life on the road. With his grandfather recently dead and his father seriously injured, he is forced to accept the help of strangers. They blindfold him and take him to their home. When he looks at this settlement he feels he has entered a hidden paradise. A slice of pre-plague America. For the first time in his life, Stephen sleeps in a bed in a well kept traditional house in a tidy subdivision. This was a very believable scenario. There are enough details of the plague to accept that it could have happened, but not so many that the reader will get caught in the details. It made total sense that the buildings of Settlers Landing could have survived intact, just waiting for it's next residents. In this post-apocalyptic world, Stephen has to determine why total strangers have invited him to live among them. Are they truly kind people or do they have some hidden agenda. The residents of Settlers Landing have a similar problem, can they trust each other, and can they learn to co-operate with the neighbouring settlement for protection against a common enemy. I found this book a very enjoyable read. The main characters came to life for me; I felt as though I would recognize them if I were to visit Settlers Landing. This would be a good selection for your teenage reader.
Date published: 2012-05-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Post-Apocalyptic YA Novel It was the more realistic nature of The Eleventh Plague that really drew in my interest to read the novel... a fact which also kind of frightened me. While I had been thinking that the novel was a dystopian one, I still think it leans more to being a post-apocalyptic one. Not that it matters though because, in any case, I really enjoyed reading The Eleventh Plague! Fifteen year-old Stephen has lived his entire life with his family as a salvager, wandering about America in search of objects from the past that would have worth now in exchange for the necessary essentials they require to survive. It has its challenges, but it's the only lifestyle he's ever known. When circumstances bring him to Settler's Landing, Stephen finds himself within a small community unlike anything he's ever seen before, where people live in comfortable homes, children attend school, and food isn't a struggle to find. What we take for granted in our own daily lives today is shocking and almost unfathomable to Stephen! Out of the darkness strikes a ray of light for Stephen, as he's given an opportunity to finally have a home... and a chance to dream about his future. Jeff Hirsch did an excellent job describing Settler's Landing and how the community worked together as their own little society... but also showing how precarious their peace was as well. And just like Stephen, I was also rather initially skeptical of the kindness which Marcus and his family showed him when he was still practically a complete stranger. In a selfish and dark world like Stephen's, the positive qualities of human beings aren't exactly at their best... not when it seems like it's every man for himself. It was wonderful seeing Stephen grow as a character as he learned from his new friends how to be a better person. Jeff Hirsch's debut novel, The Eleventh Plague, is a hauntingly accurate portrayal of what life could one day would become. Family, love and friendship are put to the test in the face of adversity in this post-apocalyptic novel that will be sure to leave your heart pounding by the end! You can also read this review at:
Date published: 2011-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! This debut was a read that kept me going. I didn't know where it was going. I enjoyed the characters and the new dystopian ideas that Hirsch brought forth. I have no idea if this is a series ora stand alone, but he left enough for a series and a satisfying ending for a stand alone. I look forward to more from this author.
Date published: 2011-09-06

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Eleventh Plague

"The Eleventh Plague hits disturbingly close to home, vividly depicting a world that has nose-dived into a futuristic nightmare.... An excellent, taut debut novel." -Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games

"A gripping survival drama." -USA Today

"Sure to be a hit among fans of dystopias." -Booklist

"An impressive story with strong characters." -Publishers Weekly