The Compound (The Compound Series #1)

The Compound (The Compound Series #1)

by S. A. Bodeen

Paperback(First Edition)

$9.89 $10.99 Save 10% Current price is $9.89, Original price is $10.99. You Save 10%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 23


Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy. No amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day. As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can't help but wonder if he'd rather take his chances outside. Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—really?

The Compound is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312578602
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Series: Compound Duology Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 39,894
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

S.A. Bodeen is the author of The Gardener and several picture books, including Elizabeti's Doll, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award. The Compound earned her an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults, a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and a Publishers Weekly "Flying Start." Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Her first friends were cows, which she named after characters in books. From there she went on to be a Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa, and has lived in seven states, as well as a remote Pacific island. She adores books and is a big fan of cheese. She lives in Oregon.

Read an Excerpt

I knew what had happened that night. We had been prepared. Other kids got bedtime stories about fairies and dogs. We fell asleep with visions of Weapons of Mass Destruction dancing in our heads. . .

Dad gripped my shoulders and pulled me away from the silver door, twisting me around to follow the rest of my family. What was left of it. I clung to my father’s hand. He rushed ahead of me, his hand dropping mine.

I lifted my hand to my face. It reeked of fuel.

The corridor ended. We paraded through an archway strung with twinkling white lights, then entered an enormous circular room. The place reminded me of a yurt we’d built in school, but about 80 times bigger. The curved walls were made of log beams; the same type which criss-crossed over our heads in an intricate pattern. The roundness of the room was odd yet comforting . . . Dad flicked a switch.

A plasma television dropped down from the ceiling, blank monitor glowing. “I figured we’d be in here a lot.” The blue from the television tinted Dad’s face and blonde hair in a garish way. He startled me when he threw his arms out to the side. “Cozy, yes? What do you think?”

“It’s not what I expected.” Mom’s voice was shaky.

Dad rubbed his jaw. “What did you expect?”

Reading Group Guide

Questions for Discussion

Eli believes that Mom is a strong woman and that "gentleness" should not be confused with "weakness." Is he right? What are Mom's strengths and weaknesses?

On page 95, Lexie calls Mom "lucky" because she doesn't have the same worries that most mothers do. To what extent is this true? Is this a fair statement?

On page 117, Eli asks, "What are we surviving for?" Put yourself in his place. Would you want to survive a nuclear disaster? Why or why not?

Human cloning has not yet been achieved but it would theoretically allow for the creation of a genetically identical "copy" of a person. How do you think a clone would be similar to and different from a "regular" person? Is it fair to value a clone's life less than a "regular" person's?

Eli is a dynamic character. Discuss how he changes from the start to the end of the book. Is Dad a dynamic character as well? Why or why not?

What challenges might you and your family encounter upon reentering "the real world" if you had an experience like the Yanakakis family's?

S.A. Bodeen purposefully withholds some important details at the start of the story and then slowly reveals some of these details as the story progresses. What are some of these important details? How does it affect the plot?

On page 169, Dad argues that the Supplements have grown up better than the other children because they were sheltered from so many bad things in the world. Do you agree? Why or why not?

This novel explores the relationship between proximity and closeness. Can proximity damage closeness? In what ways are the Yanakakis family members close? In what ways are they not close? How might your own family relationships change if you never saw anyone else aside from your family?

Perhaps the most disturbing element of the novel is the Supplements. Would you put your own life ahead of another's?

What does it mean to "play God?" In what ways does Rex Yanakakis try do this with the Compound? What goes wrong? Is there a lesson to be learned?

We learn that Eli never thought he was "worthy" of being touched by his family. Explain why he believed this. Why do you think people withhold things from themselves like Eli did?

In this novel, nuclear war and unlimited resources both threaten the Yanakakis family. Compare and contrast these threats. Which do you think is more frightening?

Several nations currently house nuclear weapons. What could be the consequences of harboring such weapons? Should countries be allowed to possess nuclear weapons?

On page 2, upon realizing that Eddy is above ground, Dad tells Eli, "I still have one of you." How does the meaning of this change once you read the ending? Go back and revisit some of Dad's earlier conversations with Eli. Upon rereading these conversations, does Dad say anything else that can have multiple meanings?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Compound 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 376 reviews.
Taya Conlon More than 1 year ago
I just couldnt put this one down. Looking for something to quench my insatiable thirst after the hunger games trilogy, the maze runner and ender's game--this one did it! Very well written. Short enough and quick enough in plot development to keep any reader's attention at all times, and yet chock full of enough detail to paint a full and everlasting picture without getting bogged down in it. A satisfying quick fix for a newly addicted sci-fi/fantasy/future dystopic society junkie!
Michael_McBride More than 1 year ago
It's an excellent book. Very read-able if you're into incredible plot twists, confinement, rich guys, nuclear fallout, cliffhangers, and inhuman experiments. I was flippin' papers all night. I'd recommend it for ages 13+. -Michael McBride Timber Creek High School Class of 2012
STran More than 1 year ago
I have recently read "The Compound" for a certain project. It was a good, mysterious book about a boy named Eli. At the beginning of the novel, he is nine years old. There was 'apparently' a disaster going on with nuclear explosions, so his dad took his family to escape to a secret compound. The compound is very safe, and no one can open it without a secret code, although no one even knows about it. Eli's brother, Eddy, and their grandma are left behind, so they are seemingly dead. In my opinion, "The Compound" is a great story. It gives you an intense image while reading. As more secrets are discovered, the reader would want to keep reading. There are many twists and turns to the story, as well as many unexpected outcomes. This is a great story to try out. "The Compound" will entertain almost all readers with its mysterious nature and excitement. Here is one little spoiler: everything is a total lie. Given that, and the plot summary above, you'd really be wondering how things could work out. I'll tell you only one thing, just read the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was definitely an easy read. Some say it is slow in the beginning, however I don't completely agree. Sure there isn't much action, but it was still interesting and necessary for the plot. I do agree that everything felt a bit rushed once Eli began questioning his father and investigating. The end sequence was also rushed and left me wishing the plot was more suspenseful. Overall though, a great read and supremely interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
when I first read this, my mind totally exploded. this book is the best I have read out of all the other ones. you have to check this out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book because i had just recently read the Hunger Games, and loved them. I have always been into science fiction and was looking for a good read to get hooked on, just as i did with the Hunger Games trilogy. This book has plenty of twists and turns, but personally i felt like i was not in love with this book because the author did not make you feel as if you knew the characters. The story line was strange, and altogether i feel like the main thing that is lacking is details to move the story along. I was never hooked on this book, but finished because i dont like not finishing things once i start. If you are a reader that gets bored easily if nothing exciting happens at first, i dont reccomend buying this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books i have ever read. It is amazingly well-written, with a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter. I read this book in a matter of hours! This book will appeal to all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a heart-pumping experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole ride. There are many twists and turns as young adult Eli's world is abruptly stopped from living the rich and easy life style. He must now learn to adapt to his new lifestyle, trust family, and enter the compound to escape a nuclear fallout. He must now find out is he safe, or sorry?
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
I don't know what to say about this book. Read the synopsis of the book on B&N and then dive in! A little bit of a cliche, but with some unexpected turns thrown in!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book defines the word secret. I just finished this book last night I tried to put it down but howerver could not... I loooovvvee to read and it hurt that this book ended. The passion and heart put in this book is amazing. The journey you take with Eli and his family is quite shocking and even disturbing, but my praise for this book never will stop...If you pick up this book you will not have any regrets TRUST ME! I wish there could be a sequel to this amazing novel.I HIGHLY reccommend this book!!! 'Love it like I did' You'll love page 190 btw...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is an awesome book its mysterious and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The only time i wasnt reading it was when i was sleeping. If you know whats good for u youll read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an awsome book. Its mysterious and leaves you on the edge of your seat. You wont want to stop reading it. You wont know whats coming next. Its easy to read, Recommended for teens. Bianca J. Timber Creek High School Class of 2014
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a suspensful novel about a trillionaire family who builds a compound to prepare for the worst. Then the worst happens a "bomb" supposebly drops so they are locked in the compound. The kids soon findout that there was no bomb dropped and that there dad was crazy. The dad and mom secretly had a baby that whenhe got big enough they would eat him. When the kids find this out they get out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This may sound dumb but I don't know it the main character is a boy or a girl. Very poor job done by the author.
Tavin Dotson More than 1 year ago
I give this book two thumbs up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If the whole world you used to know vanished in the blink of an eye and you had to live in a bunker for 15 years on spam and warm water. With no one but your annoying and literally psychotic family. How would you make it for 15 long years? This is what Eli has to go through. His father made the compound in case of a nuclear attack and that very so happened to the city of Seattle. Now he has been in the compound for 6 years now, wanting a way out. Will he be able to escape? Will he be killed? Or suffer from radiation poisoning? In the book, The Compound, there are parts where people might eat other people and cloning also may occur which may be offensive to some people. Mainly teens and young adults would probably like this book along with people who like realistic fiction books. This book reminds me of how the United States nuked Hiroshima, Japan. As well, to me it was great hearing about the things Eli must go through without beef jerky and a sane family. The Compound teaches us how we take so many things for granted. Sure he has a gym and a TV but no meat and fresh chocolate. This book is breath taking; Tons of people are fans of The Compound. I'd rate this book a five out of five. Will Eli survive in The Compound? If he can how on earth can you get out of a door that's opened by punching in 1,000,000,000 numbers anyway? Who knows, he is a quite bright kid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very goo book or young adult reading levels. Good plot an sequal is good as well. Anyone who read this will enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read the raft and loved it my pages if thiz book..would apperciate it if someone would gt back to me thanks.:-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son LOVES this book! He cant get enough of it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the second book first.
TylerSzabries More than 1 year ago
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen follows a boy named Eli and his family during a nuclear war and how they handle living in an underground nuclear shelter. The book is wonderful, i just couldn't put it down because of the good word choice, the thrilling plot and amazing character development,  I highly recommend for a quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. The plot was amazing and it really grabbed my attention. However, the flow of dialoge was hard to get through at certain points because I didn't know who was talking. Actually, it was more like someone said something but then a different person starts talking but its all in one line. Confusing. Then I didn't fully grasp why Eli would not let people touch him. It did not make sense to me and frankly kind of annoyed me. He was one of those characters that is really stubborn and you just want to slap him. Though, eventually I did grow to like him in a less "I want to frickin slap you" way. So even if certain things annoyed me, I still recommend the book.