The Sky Inside (The Sky Inside, #1)
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The Sky Inside (The Sky Inside #1)

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  1,192 ratings  ·  174 reviews
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 flowers. Every morning his family gathers around their television and votes, like everyone else, for whatever matter of national importance th...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

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Roxanne
Things that are flawless about this book: the cover. And I don't mean that as a jab, the cover is just very awesome.

The story? eh. It had some neat ideas - actually, it had too many neat ideas jammed all together so that none of them were very successfully explored, at least to the lengths I would have liked. It was a jumble of partially developed plotlines, so much so that I kept expecting at least some of them to come up again. The book even opens with a foreshadowy-seeming game show scene th...more
Snorkle
Martin lives in HM1, a seemingly perfect world. But when a stranger comes to town to take away the latest shipment of children, the new Wonder Babies, Martin wonders why no one is asking any questions and why no one call tell him where they've taken his little sister, Cassie, a Wonder Baby. So he sets out to find the answers for himself.

When I first read the inside cover of this book I was really intrigued and couldn't wait to start it. The first 40 pages were really good, they reminded me of Th...more
Hayden
2.5 stars. Lots of similarities to The Other Side of the Island: a future world where, after some sort of disaster, people live in small domed settlements and are carefully monitored by a scary government. But for my money, Island is about 10 times the book this is.

The writing is nowhere close to Goodman's prose. Dunkle just doesn't quite have the skill to create that heavy atmosphere of dread. For instance, there are bugs everywhere--"the walls have ears" is a phrase that's constantly repeated...more
Sara
Jun 29, 2008 Sara rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: young-adult, hated, 2008
I can't believe I read this whole book. Okay, so I started skimming in the middle. But still.

This book sounded so promising: a boy grows up in these domes that have been built by the government to shield its population from the terribleness in the outside world. His younger sister is one of the Wonder Babies (no one has children the old fashioned way, they all order them and they are delivered by a machine called a stork) that are too smart for their own good and ask too many questions about the...more
Lyndsey
The Sky Inside reminded me a little bit of the Giver, but with more technology and not as much finesse. The majority of the story takes place in a city built under a large metal dome and all the mysteries that come with such a location.

I felt that there was a bit too much time spent on half hearted attempts at world-building (that didn't quite do it for me) and not enough time spent actually answering the questions about the world. There is a big spiel at the end explaining the world, but I woul...more
Sweetp-1
Didn't particularly care for the narrator and for a short YA book this seemed to take forever for me to finish. I've read The Giver which has similar themes but a literary, fairytale quality to it, and The Feed which takes the futuristic bubble suburb idea to the extreme. This story falls somewhere between the two in terms of the dystopic nature of the future society but wasn't as well written or clever as either of those. Lots of good ideas but I just felt it failed to deliver really - too many...more
Brandy
[edit, 10/2011] Just re-read this for possible inclusion in the Tome O'Dystopia. I'm having trouble coming up with anything to say about it, because there's just not much to this. The sequel, IIRC, gets more into the world setting and what the political structure is like, but I don't have the investment to reread that one, too. This is just a boring book about a kid and his magical dog-bot.

***

There's a lot of convenience here, plot elements that just fall into place as necessary--and disappear a...more
Warnie B.
I'm clearly in the vast minority here, but wow, this was actually painful for me to read. I thought the dialogue was terrible, the characters flat and uninteresting, and all the actions and interactions felt forced and unrealistic. I couldn't connect to any of it. It's been compared to The Other Side of the Island, and yes, I felt the exact same way about that one--it's another of those stories for kids and young adults where the language feels really oversimplified and dumbed down, which is one...more
Saleena Davidson
Sky Inside is a standard dystopic novel....end of the world, people living in actual bubble cities.....here's the twist. No one procreates anymore. Everyone requests their children, goes through a long waiting process, and the "stork" (cylinders delivered to the towns) sends them a child with their spects. The story begins as the "wonder children" that were marketed are having problems.....they are very intelligent, curious, unafraid to ask questions & to seek the answers. What I expected at...more
Zoe Zuniga
I really enjoyed this story and the character of the boy and his doggy. It reminded me a little bit of The Giver by Charlotte Lowery. The sense of scene and place was very tangible to me in the way things were described. I loved the inventiveness of the culture and the robots who were so versatile.
I loved the metaphor for our own society where we think that everything out there beyond our normal life is rotten and barren and bad when really it is so much more lovely than anything we are clinging...more
Lynn
Pretty good but so much was left unexplained. The strength was in the characters - I did keep reading to find out what happened to them. The morphing robotic dog was a nice touch.
Angela
Started reading this as it covers two of my favourite genres; dystpian/utopian and sci-fi. Plus it's a teenager/YA novel so it's a good place for those in that age range to start on the two aforementioned genres.

Overall I enjoyed the novel. Dunkle's prose is good and the description of the world that the protagonist lives in is done well. There are aspects of the novel which will leave the reader feeling slightly aghast, but there are also some decent comic moments, mainly involving the robot do...more
Jessikah
3 1/2 stars... maybe 3 3/4

A dystopian society where everything is perfect, children are taught superficial lessons in school, coldness is the norm and people watch killer game shows for fun.

This sounds familiar...

Marten and his too perfect little sister, Cassie, are products of a society where the sky is always blue, there is no rain and pain is swept under the rug until Marten's birthday when his birthday gift, a dog-bot (Chip) with special modifications opens the door to the hard truth of the...more
Kirsten
Martin lives under a dome in the future version of a gated suburb. Everything is clean, everyone is nice (unless they aren't, in which case they tend to disappear), and all of the children have been genetically engineered to be good, healthy kids. The only source of strife is the most recent generation of new and improved children. These kids, like Martin's sister Cassie, just cause problems: they ask too many questions, they're much too intelligent, and they cause all kinds of problems because...more
Linnae
Martin's little sister is different, but then he's come to expect that. She came in the Wonder Babies shipment, and the whole lot of them have dangerous quirks. They can't stop asking questions, for one thing, and they want to learn everything, not just what the computer tells them about. Lately things have been getting worse--there's been a big inspection that has everyone on edge, and no-one can tolerate the Wonder Babies and their constant barrage of inappropriate behavior anymore. Violence h...more
Kelly
Martin lives in the suburbs. And these are super suburbs. Everything is the same. Oh, and did I mention that the sky is really a steel dome that is painted blue, and the clouds are painted white? And everything is mechanical, even the pets. The world outside the dome is supposedly a barren and toxic desert where no one can survive. That is why people live in the domes, where children are genetically engineered and delivered by the stork (ok, it's a train car) and people vote on what shade the Pr...more
Shanti
Blurb: Every year, a new generation of children arrives on a conveyor belt to meet their parents. Every spring, the residents of this idyllic suburb take down the snow they've stuck to their windows and replace it with flowers. And every day passes much the same as any other.

Imagine a perfectly-formed, perfectly-controlled world. And then imagine what will happen when everything comes crashing down...”


Martin is a thirteen-year-old boy living in a home that is identical to the one next to it,...more
Gabs
I was a bit unsure about this book, because Dystopian has just been getting more and more generic, in my opinion. However, I still managed to really enjoy the Sky Inside.

It's not a rip-off of Hunger Games, first of all, which I appreciated. I haven't read anything very similar to the Sky Inside, well, ever. It was also full of unexpected twists and turns, and unpredictability is something that I love in books!

The setting was not extremely unique, but it was unique for a dystopian. Basically, the...more
Carissa
i'm only giving this two stars because it has some interesting plot points. really, it was more like a one-star book. this book takes on way more than it can handle in the number of pages it contains. it's supposedly a futuristic "what-if" sort of tale, but it goes in so many different directions that i just found it irritating. so these people live in a big (literal) bubble and apparently, most of them do not work and are paid to stay home and buy things, thereby contributing to the economy by...more
Christina
Really cool book. I enjoyed the depiction of a dystopian future society, and the adventure really gets going in the last half of the book. Thirteen-year old Martin lives in Suburb HM1, one of several domed self-contained communities. No one ever leaves the suburb, or visits other suburbs, because they've been taught for generations that outside is only desert and death. In the suburb, the dome is painted blue with white patches called "Clouds" (Martin wonders why they're called that), plastic fl...more
Abby Johnson
Far in the future, Martin Glass lives in suburb HM1 with his mom, dad, and kid sister Cassie. Martin's not big on school and prefers messing around with video games and bots to sitting in class. Cassie is exactly the opposite. She's a Wonder Baby, a new model of child engineered to be highly intelligent and curious. But something's not right in HM1. With the help of a modified robot dog, Martin discovers some weird things about his suburb and he starts to suspect that not everything is on the le...more
Erin Forson
The Sky Inside
By Clare Dunkle
Martin lives in a world where everyone has a vote--every morning. In fact, every family is required to get up at dawn, stand in front of the wall T.V. and pledge, then vote on whatever issue the President needs help with that day (like what color to change the curtains to in the Oval Office). Kids aren't born, they arrive when requested by parents, and each new "model" of kid is better. Martin is an older model, a 14, which gets him in some trouble from time to time....more
Jackie
I have to say this was my first time reading a book with a male main character. It was also one of the few books I've read with 3rd person. I wanted to try something new, and I'm glad I did. Martin had a unique voice, and the world he lived in only made it stronger.

HM1 is basically a giant dome you cannot leave. Different domes communicate with each other by packets that go along the rails. You can't know too much, think too much, and being orderly and the same is almost the only think that is c...more
Marisa
Much better than I thought it was going to be -- very pleasant surprise! Pretty much a 3.5 star book, but I'm feeling generous today. Sufficiently creepy/disquieting. Ending is begging for a sequel. Summary provided by goodreads adequate, but leaves out my favorite part -- Martin's amazing altered robot dog who saves his butt on numerous occassions.

Some good quotes:

"It was the distance that fascinated him first. After a lifetime of living with a steel ceiling and a concrete floor, the vastness o...more
Karen Ball
Sci-fi dystopia, good with The Giver. Martin is 13, and lives in the suburb of HM1, a domed community. Every day, all of the residents turn on the televisions and vote on whatever issues the president presents to them -- including what color drapes his office should have. In this community, children are created and sent out to live with adoptive parents, and the last batch that came were "super babies" with genius level intelligence. Martin's sister is one of these children -- and they have all...more
James Clare
It's an okay book. It reminds me a lot of the truman show. It's set up differently but the concept of the world being not what it seems, is apparent throughout. I love the scifi present in this book, however it's sometimes hard to tell in the book if the main character is human or a machine. The ending doesn't feel like a ending, it ends in one way but it continues with a lot of the questions being raised, not tackled.
Rivkah
SpOiLeRs!!


Every spring the people of the suburbs or 'burbs' take down the fake snow from the windows and put up flowers instead. Every morning the people 'vote' on 'very important' matters. What color will the curtins be?

At the age of four Martin recognizes 'wonder babies' commercials on the TV. Now he is twelve and has a little sister, age 6, Cassie. She is learning about isotopes in the periodic table of elements.

For his birthday, martin gets a dog, well, not quite a dog, but a dog-like crea...more
Annthelibrarian
Martin lives in a future where robots do most of the work while citizens live in domed suburbs watching television game shows and commercials.
Intriguing look at a future world where free will has been erased in return for security. Readers will love Chip, the All Dog that Martin receives for his birthday.
Chelsea
I really enjoyed this book! I listened to it while driving this weekend, and the narrator was great as well! First off I have always liked reading books like this, Hunger Games, Cinder, City of Ember...they are interesting and quite fun to watch those who have lived either in a bubble or underground come out for the first time. The way the author describes the earth, the climate, the sun, it is fascinating! I liked following Martin on his journey, and even though at some points I felt like he ac...more
Stacy
There were a lot of things to like about this book - the suburbs, the games to earn meals, the recitation of advertising jingles at recess, the separation of people in easily monitored segments. I spent time debating the human-ness of many characters, debating the likelihood of each being a bot. I'm actually disappointed that there were so few bots.

For me, the biggest drawback to the book was Martin. Theodore Dreyfuss may think that the 14s were the best of that model year...but he was an idiot...more
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The Sky Inside."" 1 10 Sep 02, 2009 06:49PM  
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I was born Clare Buckalew in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in Denton, Texas, a city north of Dallas. I earned my B.A. in Russian with a minor in Latin from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from Indiana University with a master's degree in library science, I came back to San Antonio to work when my husband, Joe, joined the engineering staff at Kelly Air Force Base. I earn...more
More about Clare B. Dunkle...
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“Mom actually said that?" Cassie's face shown with happiness. "She always hated my math!"

"Nah," Martin said. "She was just being that way for you. She thought it was what you needed to hear. If parents told us what they really think about stuff, we could figure them out like regular people.”
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“For how many generations now had his people been turning their backs on things? How long had they sat in their living rooms and watched other people die?” 5 likes
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