Allison Parker's Reviews > The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
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Aug 04, 10

bookshelves: juvenile, young-adult, newbery
Recommended to Allison by: Thom
Read in January, 2010

In a futuristic Zimbabwe, the three children of a high-ranking general sneak out of their sheltered, robot-managed lives for a trip across the city. But their plans change when they are captured and taken to strange places they never imagined existed outside of their plush house. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, a detective team, are hired to find the child using their special abilities which came to them from their mothers' exposure to toxic waste while pregnant. Farmer creates truly fantastic African settings, for example, a marshland completely composed of compacted garbarge where the poorest people mine for now-rare plastic; but these places and situations build upon a recognizable society: different tribes or races intersect and often conflict, and old traditions are fiercely protected by a minority in a rapidly
modernized world. The children's odyssey reads like an adventure
novel, but readers may also find deeper connections to contemporary
issues, both global and personal. Tendai, the oldest child, begins to
see not only the world outside his heavily-guarded fence in a new
light, but he also recognizes greatness in the family members who used
to annoyed or neglected him. A wonderful read, whether you're a
science-fiction fan or not!
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