By Clare B. Dunkle. New York: Atheneum,
Edited by Ginee Seo for Ginee Seo Books.
A science fiction novel for ages twelve and up.
Included in the 2011 Grand Canyon Reader Award list.
To read an interview about this book, see the blog site of librarian Rebecca Laney.
Library has released an unabridged audio edition (audio
download or CD), read by Bruce Turk.
"A story that will capture the imagination of the junior high set. ... Publisher recommends for ages 12-17, but adults will enjoy this too."
"Dunkle's Orwellian tale of perfect people living in a seemingly perfect world is vivid and imaginative. ... Narrator Bruce Turk offers a solid reading that captures this world perfectly. ... A stunning sense of foreboding comes through."
Simon & Schuster UK released the UK edition in August, 2008. That edition is paperback.
Simon & Schuster Australia released the Australian edition in October, 2008. That edition is paperback.
"Many children will identify with
Martin's characterization as someone who hates academics
but '[knows] the stuff that matters,' and most
will envy his robotic-dog sidekick ... This entertaining,
provocative novel invites middle-grade readers to ponder looming
questions about scientific ethics, human rights, and the push-pull
between security and freedom."
—Booklist (Starred review and Booklist cover art)
"Part coming-of-age story, part thriller, the novel
leads readers on an exciting adventure through a grim future."
"A novel that raises significant questions about our own
world in a context that younger readers can easily imagine. Game
shows, endless commercials, computer games, toy robots, all taken
just one step over the edge—and suddenly we're considering
issues of freedom vs. security, human rights vs. the rights of artificial
life forms, and the public consequences of personal choice."
—Bryce Milligan for The San Antonio Express-News
"Successfully explores the dangers
of despotism and the role that an uninformed citizenry can
have in furthering oppression. Middle grade readers will connect
readily with the well-written character of Martin, whose sensitive
portrayal evokes a message of hope and optimism."
—VOYA (4Q 4P: Broad general YA appeal)
"Along the lines of Logan's Run and The Truman Show, The Sky Inside paints a very uncomfortable picture of a dystopian future society. ... It's very easy to read with plenty of narrative drive, making it as suitable for late primary children as it is for those of early to mid secondary age, but the plotting is terrific, absolutely watertight. As Dunkle trails clues to what really lies behind the polished, superficial world of Martin's society, you really can feel the horror mount. ...
"Highly recommended for character, narrative and style,
buy The Sky Inside for all socially conscious sci-fans
aged from about ten to fourteen."
"Loved it, loved it, loved it.
... It would have been really easy—almost expected—for
the characters to take a back seat to the premise, but that
isn't the case in The Sky Inside. Yes, the
premise had me at hello. But I really and truly came to believe
—Becky's Book Reviews
"Author Clare B. Dunkle sculpts
a fascinating future landscape, a perfect dystopian utopia,
that will leave the reader considering the events of the tale
long after the last page has been turned and the covers closed.
Definitely a nominee for a Golden Duck award, in my book."
"While a quest of a boy and his
dog ... against seemingly insurmountable obstacles is a familiar
plot, Dunkle surrounds her protagonists with an enthralling
range of settings, a memorable cast of characters who hide
their ennui and worry to varying degrees, and Martin himself,
who while bold and intelligent, is also effectively developed
as an authentic thirteen-year-old boy who is attempting something
a bit out of reach. ... Fans of the author will still recognize
her evocative storytelling and intricate plotting, even in
this science fiction milieu."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (Recommended)
"Clare B. Dunkle ... has created
a richly imagined, thoroughly frightening society. Her novel
takes place in a world much like our own, and its characters
have believable strengths and weaknesses. Offering insightful
commentaries into today's society and raising challenging
questions about the future, The Sky Inside
is the kind of science fiction novel that will encourage young
readers to think about—and discuss—some of the
larger issues in their own lives."
"A solid, compelling entry in the
isolated-dystopian-community genre. In a world well-stocked
with genius children, the point-of-view focus through an ordinary
boy with questionable free will provides a compelling shift
from the expected."
"An interesting book that I couldn't
put down. It reminds me of a modern day setting of The
Giver with maybe a little Soylent
Green thrown in. ... Readers that enjoyed The
Giver, A Wrinkle in Time,
etc. will really enjoy this one."
—Denise Byers of middle_school_lit