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The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
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The House of the Scorpion (original 2002; edition 2004)

by Nancy Farmer (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,5492221,572 (4.12)130
Member:ForrestFamily
Title:The House of the Scorpion
Authors:Nancy Farmer (Author)
Info:Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2004), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, Owned, ebooks, Willem's books
Rating:
Tags:HE2016, Wim17

Work details

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (2002)

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» See also 130 mentions

English (221)  Spanish (1)  All languages (222)
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
This book is about a boy named Matt who we find out later in the book was a clone of El Patron, a drug lord. Matt goes through all of his life creating friendships, being mistreated to being respected highly, doubting who he is, and wondering what is purpose is. After learning his true purpose, a living organ donor for El Patron, he then escapes and returns only to take down the cartel that El Patron had built. This book is a great example of a dystopian society and would be a great book for them to read to get a feel for what that genre is. For that reason, and because the story is entertaining and keeps you on your toes the entire time you are reading it, I gave this book 4 stars. ( )
  sgg014 | Mar 17, 2019 |
Maya likes the scifi, power & kingdoms.
  FinneytownSecondary | Feb 23, 2019 |
Hunger Games meets Holes...The House of the Scorpion was a pretty good book. Science fiction, dystopian novel. The first chapter introduces us to clones....grown inside cows. Controversial? Drugs, opium, drug lords, Mexican/American wall, eejits (brainless slaves) are all parts of this book. It is a little darker than The Hunger Games but manages a love story through all the darkness. It took me a long time to read, but I really dug into the reading. I thought about "The Wall" between Mexico and America. I actually put the book down for quite a few days when the first chapter told me they were growing clones for body parts inside cows...and this is a YA book!?! But, I'm glad I finished it. ( )
  mandieh | Feb 19, 2019 |
Matt is a clone of a 140+ year-old drug lord, created to eventually supply spare organs to the old man. Clones are treated as livestock... as loathsome things not even remotely human. Normally, their brains are destroyed at birth, but Matt is different. El Patron, the old drug lord whose life he was created to extend, likes his clones to be treated well until he decides to kill them to get an organ. El Patron rules a sort of No-Man's-Land called Opium which lies between the United States and Aztlan (formerly Mexico). The plants for the drugs are kept by "eejits," human beings who have had their free will totally removed by a computer chip implanted in their brain, so they are slaves to such a degree that they won't even drink water when they are thirsty unless told to do so. They are mindless drones, that were once human beings.
Matt is raised by a cook in El Patron's house, and doesn't know what he is at first. Only three people seem to truly care for him, Celia, the cook who raised him, Tam Lin, one of El Patron's bodyguards who the old man eventually reassigns to guard Matt, and Maria, a girl about his age who visits the Patron estate regularly. In Matt's world, he has many enemies and few friends. The ever shifting plot takes place here for about 2/3 of the book.
Then there is a major shift. Matt escapes to Aztlan, where he is immediately captured and basically enslaved by Keepers, who control imprisoned orphans to do tedious, difficult manual labor. Most of the remainder of the book takes place in this world. (I found this portion of the novel much less interesting than the first part. It almost didn't feel like part of the same book.)
Most of the dire issues affecting Matt are resolved, or show resolution on the horizon extremely rapidly in the last 20 pages or so. I didn't find the resolutions very believable given all that happened before.
Great premise, with extensive exploration of a variety of complex themes, but uneven, and with an unsatisfying conclusion. ( )
  fingerpost | Jan 6, 2019 |
The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer- I enjoyed this exciting sci-fi novel very much because it tells a coming of age story with a twist. It tells the story of a clone, Matt, who belongs to a Mexican drug lord, and how he struggles to be free and establish his identity. I also enjoyed that different chapters are told from a different point of view, allowing the reader to get the same story from different sides and how it affects different people. I also believe that this book pushes the readers to think about tough issues such as: identity, power, compassion, isolation, deceit, slavery, death, drugs and possible situations/ dystopias in the future. I also love how the book ended differently than I assumed. The story ends up being about friendship, survival, hope and transcendence.
  scarpe10 | Nov 6, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Farmerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ramirez, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Harold for his unfailing love and support, and to Daniel, our son. To my brother, Dr. Elmon Lee Coe, and my sister, Mary Marimon Stout. Lastly, and no less importantly, to Richard Jackson, il capo di tutti capi of children's book editors.
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In the beginning there were thirty-six of them, thirty-six droplets of life so tiny that Eduardo could see them only under a microscope. He studied them anxiously in the darkened room.
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Haiku summary
Clone of El Patron
Rescued by love and poison
Inherits the farm
(PeggyDean)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689852231, Paperback)

Fields of white opium poppies stretch away over the hills, and uniformed workers bend over the rows, harvesting the juice. This is the empire of Matteo Alacran, a feudal drug lord in the country of Opium, which lies between the United States and Aztlan, formerly Mexico. Field work, or any menial tasks, are done by "eejits," humans in whose brains computer chips have been installed to insure docility. Alacran, or El Patron, has lived 140 years with the help of transplants from a series of clones, a common practice among rich men in this world. The intelligence of clones is usually destroyed at birth, but Matt, the latest of Alacran's doubles, has been spared because he belongs to El Patron. He grows up in the family's mansion, alternately caged and despised as an animal and pampered and educated as El Patron's favorite. Gradually he realizes the fate that is in store for him, and with the help of Tam Lin, his bluff and kind Scottish bodyguard, he escapes to Aztlan. There he and other "lost children" are trapped in a more subtle kind of slavery before Matt can return to Opium to take his rightful place and transform his country.

Nancy Farmer, a two-time Newbery honoree, surpasses even her marvelous novel, The Ear, The Eye and the Arm in the breathless action and fascinating characters of The House of the Scorpion. Readers will be reminded of Orson Scott Card's Ender in Matt's persistence and courage in the face of a world that intends to use him for its own purposes, and of Louis Sachar's Holes in the camaraderie of imprisoned boys and the layers of meaning embedded in this irresistibly compelling story. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:06 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.

(summary from another edition)

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