The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington

The Diary of Pelly DToni V is part of a society of evolved humans who have left polluted planet Earth and now live and work in a world that revolves around one precious commodity: water. Toni V not only likes water, he longs for it. He and his fellow work detail mates can’t wait to take a dip in the company pool at the end of a long dusty day of demolishing old buildings and fill their gills with oxygen rich, wonderfully wet water. Toni V knows that “shirking is for losers,” so he’s nervous about stopping work for even a minute to examine the contents of an old water can he digs up. What he finds is a diary (on paper, of all the quaint old fashioned things!) written by a girl named Pelly D. Pelly D. lived a very posh life in the days before the War and the bombs that destroyed the buildings that Toni V. is now working to clear away. Toni V. doesn’t know much about the war, only that the General’s motto, “back to work, back to normal” doesn’t encourage much retrospection. At first, reading Pelly D’s diary is fun – she led the kind of life that Toni V can only fantasize about. But the more he reads, the more he is troubled by Pelly D.’s circumstances. Why must she submit to a “voluntary” testing of her DNA? Why are her family and friends being stripped of their goods and homes and forced to take a barcode on their hand? When he reaches the end of the diary, Toni V. knows in his heart what has happened to Pelly D. But does he have the strength to share it with others who, like him, have been blissfully unaware of the horrific past that their new nation is being built on? I have not felt chills like this from reading a book since turning the last page of the very fine Feed by M. T. Anderson. (further down on this list) And when I read the author’s note that mentioned she was inspired by diaries found buried beneath the site of the Warsaw Ghetto, I knew I had just finished a modern sci-fi classic. Read it, then pass it on to at least six friends. Never forget.

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