In the year 2368, humankind must struggle to survive under dire environmental conditions and strict government control. In this startling world, one brave young woman begins to unravel a web of lies about life on Earth that will empower her to discover, at last, who she really is. McNaughton vividly imagines an all-too-believable future and celebrates the impact that one person can make on the world.
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JANET McNAUGHTON is the multi-award-winning author of many books, including The Secret Under My Skin, An Earthly Knight and her most recent novel, Dragon Seer, which was shortlisted for the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, as well as both the CLA Young Adult Book Award and the Book of the Year for Children Award. McNaughton lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with her family. Visit her online at www.janetmcnaughton.ca.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up - Set in 2368, this dystopian novel offers a glimpse of a potential future for our world. Blay lives in a work camp for homeless children, where they dig through a garbage dump to retrieve valuable items such as paper. There is not much technology left after the recent technocaust, when scientists were blamed for environmental disasters and taken to concentration camps. Due to her love of reading, Blay is chosen to help Marella, the new bio-indicator, with her studies. In the past, these individuals, whose bodies react to poisons in the environment, served as warning mechanisms for others, but now, as the Earth heals and the danger lessens, they are expected to collect and interpret scientific data. As she helps Marella pass a series of tests, Blay discovers that she has a natural talent for science. As she starts to live a more normal life, she realizes how misled she has been by the people in charge of her society. Her knowledge grows along with that of readers', building suspense and making the resolution more satisfying. Blay is a vividly rendered narrator who exposes her own emotional vulnerability, which enhances her heroism. The setting and culture of the book are equally vividly rendered, offering a depth that allows readers to believe fully in its premise. The writing is clear and crisp, evoking a magic that enchants. All of these elements make this one of the top science fiction novels in recent years. - Tasha Saecker, Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, WI
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