Who Runs the World?

Virginia Bergin

Ages 12 to 16
01 June 2017
352 pages


Welcome to the Matriarchy.

Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, things are pretty much just as you would imagine a world run by women might be: war has ended; greed is not tolerated; the ecological needs of the planet are always put first. In two generations, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life really is pretty good - if you're a girl. It's not so great if you're a boy, but fourteen-year-old River wouldn't know that. Until she met Mason, she thought they were extinct.

The heart of this novel lies with River’s great-grandmother, as memories of the boyfriend who was killed by the plague and the baby brother she was forced to give up drive her to hide the XY, even at peril to herself and her family. It’s that emotional core that gives Mason humanity and the reader the opportunity to care for him as a character despite his initially appearing as a one-dimensional stand-in for males everywhere. This could therefore serve as an interesting counterpart to DeStefano’s Wither (BCCB 3/11) or as a primer for Margaret Atwood’s adult works.