There are forty-two people left on earth. Forty-one of them live in a small village named Xibalba, surviving on the remnants of a society that once was. The other one lives alone on an island.

Martin Maple is the other one. He doesn’t know about The Day. He doesn’t realize that the world had changed in an instant, that all at once, everyone just left. The only thing he knows is that beyond his island lies something else, and so he sets out to see what that might be.

He finds Xibalba. It’s like nothing he’s read about in books. It’s a place of wayward children, of bossy girls who drive monster trucks and build elaborate Rube Goldberg machines, of brainy boys who create the Internet out of wood and string, of sullen gun-nuts and self-proclaimed kings and junior prophets who talk to animals. In these kids, Martin sees foggy windows into the past. In Martin, they see an earnest innocent with the skills to lead them into the future or the naivety to doom them all.

Together, they set out to build a machine. The hope is, the machine will lead them to the people who left. The truth is, it will do something different…

As countless dystopian novels present indistinguishable doomsday scenarios to young readers, The Only Ones does something different. It finds humor in the apocalypse. It finds grace and hope in the quiet moments of childhood. It offers a deceptively simple, modern fable that asks two big questions. What happens when you lose the world? What happens when you find it?

"One of the most unique, captivating books I've ever read. I was completely pulled into its pages and they never let me go." - James Dashner, bestselling author of The Maze Runner

"Both literary and engaging, this is the kind of book readers will want to return to for new discoveries." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starmer’s science-fiction fable ultimately becomes gripping and haunting as the characters explore matters of faith, leadership, and responsibility, culminating in a reflective, bittersweet conclusion worthy of Neil Gaiman." - School Library Journal

"Starmer weaves an enchanting tale full of mystery and magic. The novel includes moments of gentle humor that contrast with despair and sadness, creating a perfect balance." - VOYA Magazine

A Junior Library Guild Fall 2011 selection.

The Only Ones is published by Delacorte Press, a division of Random House. It is represented by Elisabeth Weed at Weed Literary.

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September 13, 2011