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The House of the Scorpion

Review

The House of the Scorpion

Matt is a young child who is a clone, though he doesn't know it at the beginning of this powerful novel. Set in the future in Dreamland, a drug empire that took over parts of today's Mexico, Matt still has the normal concerns and fears that other children have. He wants friends and the freedom to do what he wants.

Being a clone of the powerful El Patron gives Matt safety that other clones, despised by his world, do not enjoy. Most clones are grown for horrible reasons and their intelligence is removed with a drug at birth. But he has been spared; he is highly intelligent and loves music.

Only a few befriend him: a bodyguard, a cook from the estate, and the daughter of a U.S. Senator who visits the house. Many others taunt and shun him, even some who seemed to be friends. When he has to leave the estate to save his life, new enemies appear.

Like Louis Sachar's HOLES or Lois Lowry's THE GIVER, the suspense in this book will surprise readers at many turns. Scary, evil people are all around Matt. Farmer is a gifted writer who makes this sort of science fiction seem eerily real. No reader will be untouched by this work that won several 2002 awards, including the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor Award, and a Printz Honor Award. Both teens and adults will be quickly drawn into THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on April 27, 2004

The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer

  • Publication Date: April 27, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0689852231
  • ISBN-13: 9780689852237