The Pandemic Tunnel And Other YA Novels In The Time Of COVID

The Pandemic Tunnel

Bored with COVID life, Michelle drops a penny into the pond by her house and wishes to go back to an era before COVID. The pond opens up and swallows her whole, and psych! She ends up in the midst of the 1918 influenza pandemic. 

As she desperately tries to remember the ingredients for the H1N1 A vaccine, which, let’s get real, she never actually knew anyway, she falls in love with the local baker’s son, who is significantly hotter than any Gen Z boys largely because he’s dressed in Jazz Age garb. Meanwhile, she clashes with the Anti-Mask League because some things never change. She also meets a young Dr. Fauci, because the author has no idea how old he is and thinks maybe he looks about 112? 

COVID and Crimson

Sara has been dreaming of going to Harvard since her dad, whose sentences always begin “Back in my Crimson youth,” bought her a men’s size XL Harvard sweatshirt when she was four and urged her to someday be worthy of it. Her single-minded pursuit of an Ivy League education has forced her to abandon any semblance of a social life.

Now that the SATs have been canceled and Harvard is online, Sara is reconsidering everything she’s worked so hard for. It’s time to rebel, she decides. Since she can’t, like, leave the house, this means sneaking a few sips of her parents’ hidden stash of Frangelico and texting her crush on a whim. Will he answer? Will a vaccine come out in time for her to go to a real party and discover jungle juice, fueling the magic behind actual regrettable decisions?

Rear Puberty

Stuck in her house all summer, 14-year-old Julie starts spying on her neighbors and dreaming of her first kiss. One day, she sees a murder take place across in the window of a nearby apartment building. But when she tells her mom and dad, they don’t believe her and tell her to write down her fanciful tales in her diary.

If this sounds like an exact replica of the plot of Rear Window, think again! This novel has a sassy, teenage detective who isn’t James Stewart and doesn’t have a broken leg. 

The Test Swap

Kennedy, whose parents are the type who would name their daughter Kennedy, goes to get a COVID test at the local clinic and is mortified to discover that her crush is also waiting for the test. He doesn’t recognize her, but when their test results are accidentally mixed up by the lab, she must find a way of getting in touch without totally embarrassing herself. Maybe — just maybe — she’ll even get a date to virtual prom.

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