By Clare B. Dunkle.
New York: Atheneum,
Edited by Ginee Seo for
Ginee Seo Books. A science fiction novel for ages twelve and up.
Feed meets The Giver meets The Secret of NIMH in a breathtaking novel from an award-winning fantasy author.
The ads had started running on midmorning television the summer
after Martin's fourth birthday. "Wonder babies
are here!" they announced. ... Never had the arrival
of the stork brought such excitement. Overflowing with charm
and intelligence, Wonder Babies were like nothing the suburb
had seen before.
But that didn't turn out to be a good thing.
Martin lives in a perfect world. Every year, a new
generation of genetically-engineered children is shipped out
to meet their parents. Every spring the residents of his town
take down the snow they've stuck to their windows and
put up the flowers. Every morning his family gathers around
their television, and votes, like everyone else, for whatever
matter of national importance the president has on the table.
Today, it is the color of his drapes. It's business
as usual under the protective dome of suburb HM1.
And it's all about to come crashing down.
Because a stranger has come to take away all the
little children, including Martin's sister, Cassie,
and no one wants to talk about where she has gone. The way
Martin sees it, he has a choice. He can remain in the dubious
safety of HM1, with danger lurking just beneath the surface,
or he can actually break out of the suburb, into the mysterious
land outside, rumored to be nothing but blowing sand for miles
Acclaimed author Clare B. Dunkle has crafted a fresh
and fast-paced science-fiction thriller, one that challenges
her characters—and her readers—to look closer
at the world they take for granted.
"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)
"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)
Jacket art copyright 2008 by Sammy Yuen, Jr. Book excerpt may or may not
appear on printed book jackets. Book excerpt copyright 2008 by Clare B.
Dunkle. Text and image courtesy of Simon & Schuster
Children's Publishing Division.