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The House of the Scorpion (2002)

by Nancy Farmer, Nancy Farmer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Matteo Alacran (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,0272381,657 (4.11)141
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
  1. 70
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (jbarry)
    jbarry: futuristic take on biomedical ethics and mindbendingly complicated relationships
  2. 40
    Unwind by Neal Shusterman (KenJenningsFan74)
  3. 40
    Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (mariah2)
  4. 20
    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (goodiegoodie)
  5. 20
    Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh (lquilter)
    lquilter: Cherryh's Cyteen is another classic look at a clone.
  6. 00
    Secret Creatures by Jenny Nimmo (Bitter_Grace)
  7. 00
    The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (jbarry)
  8. 00
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (sturlington)

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» See also 141 mentions

English (237)  Spanish (1)  All languages (238)
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
This was a book that I got so invested in I forgot I was reading. It dealt with some intense, heavy issues of cloning and the definition of life that makes it feel more like an adult novel than YA. There were certainly some stretchy plot points, but overall I really liked it. The descriptions were well done and created a vibrant setting for the very real and flawed characters. ( )
  mslibrarynerd | Jan 13, 2024 |
It was okay, but the ending wasn't too good. ( )
  eewatkins | Nov 7, 2023 |
Read this for the second time to review for a book club. This is one that I remember devouring a few years ago; it's one I recommend all the time to kids at the library.
And I had forgotten almost everything about it except that the main character is a clone. I don't even know if I need to hide that since it's established early in the book, but whatever.
The book held up. Did most of it on audio this time, and the reader was pretty good. This is a dystopia that has a lot going on and not just one flashy gimmick. I'm glad I got a review before reading [b:The Lord of Opium|17063696|The Lord of Opium (Matteo Alacran #2)|Nancy Farmer|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1362634071s/17063696.jpg|23401811], and now I'll probably pick that up sooner than I would have otherwise. Definitely will keep recommending this. ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
Much of the story is telling of the abuse and struggles Matt experienced growing up in a fairly isolated situation. While he gains access to books, media, music, etc, it is all in a relative social vacuum so he is surprised by things that other children absorb growing up which may never be explicitly voiced.
The ending, while it may be enjoyed by teen readers because it demonstrates the agency they can have to affect the world around them, seemed too far-fetched. After years of people shunning him he lands in a place where assistance is freely given. Especially false is Esperanza's assertion that he will have world support in ending the opium farming, just a few pages after she mentions how the world economy is disrupted by the halt in shipments.
Well-portrayed character personality. Shows use of cognitive process to identify effects of their behavior & choices, to choose what type of person they want to be. ( )
  juniperSun | Nov 10, 2022 |
I loved this book! My son's class was reading it and he checked it out from the library himself so I could know what was going on. Although I do think it's a bit scary for 4th graders he didn't seem to think so (but we'll probably see some nightmares from it.) Very interesting book with great characters. ( )
  panamamama | Aug 2, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Farmerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Farmer, Nancymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ramirez, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed



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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.
First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Clone of El Patron
Rescued by love and poison
Inherits the farm

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