What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. Boy who grew food under his home [s]

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message 1: by Anais (new)

Anais | 2 comments I read a book about 15 years ago. About a boy who lived in a world where what you eat depends on your status. People who were of a high status could eat real food. Everyone else at processed foods with little nutrition and were sick. The boy grew his own plants under his home and I believe he had a few animals as well. And he could only eat so much cause if he looked too healthy people would catch on. There was also police who would come into the homes to inspect and make sure people weren't growing their own food.

That's all I remeber about this book. Does anyone know it?

message 2: by bookel (last edited Jan 28, 2017 10:03AM) (new)

bookel | 2106 comments The missing persons league by Frank Bonham?

message 3: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 38146 comments Mod
The Missing Persons League for bookel's link.

message 4: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
I'm going to second or third The Missing Persons League.

message 5: by Justanotherbiblophile (last edited Jan 28, 2017 09:38PM) (new)

Justanotherbiblophile | 1756 comments I thought so too (MPL) at first, but I don't recall cops that'd come inspect the homes.

Key one was they were catching rabbits in vacant fields, and raising them in the basement (that they'd hand-dug out??). Hiding the bones in the walls, because they didn't want them in the trash.

I don't know that there were a lot of processed/artificial foods - I thought they were just rationed, because they'd screwed up their planet/economy.

message 6: by bookel (new)

bookel | 2106 comments I recall the police and it's easy enough to confirm with a Google Books search:

Journal of Reading - Volume 24 - Page 611
1980 - ‎Snippet view
Frank Bonham's The Missing Persons League (1976) shows a future where oxygen masks, synthetic foods and environmental police are commonplace.

Children's Book Review Service - Volumes 4-6 - Page 134
Children's Book Review Service - 1975 - ‎Snippet view
Bonham, Frank THE MISSING PERSONS LEAGUE Dutton $6.95 9/16 Ages 10-13 LC 76-8832 CIP During earth's last years as a ... Fiendish Environmental Police patrol the planet in search of those using more than their share of the remaining ...

Justanotherbiblophile | 1756 comments Like I said, I don't recall the cops coming into and inspecting the houses. Didn't say no cops (as obviously, they were hiding their eating from someone). *shrug* YMMV.

message 8: by Justanotherbiblophile (last edited Jan 28, 2017 10:04PM) (new)

Justanotherbiblophile | 1756 comments Internet-ism. Google is your friend. Your Mileage May Vary.

But, to follow up - I'm not sure that the MPL is *not* the poster's book. It could very well be. Just saying, my memory of that book (not the most recent, btw) had some slightly conflicting differences - which is why I didn't suggest it to the OP.

Sometimes people suggest things, and I'm pretty sure it is not what they suggested - and I'll say that. This one? Not going to say that it is not, just that perhaps it is not.

message 9: by bookel (new)

bookel | 2106 comments I suggest it if it's a hunch. Even if it's not the book, better to suggest than not. :)

message 10: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
Ok, I had to go check it out--and there WERE cops who came in and inspected trash. The boy had to lie because there were some tomato seeds in the trash and he said that he'd found the plant in the woods rather than admitting to growing it himself.

I recently (as in the last 2 or 3 years) re-read it because my youngest grandson wanted something like that for an English book report, and I had to re-read it to make sure it met the criteria that his teacher had given him so I even knew where the book was. :o)

message 11: by bookel (new)

bookel | 2106 comments I read the book myself a few years ago and it was the one I thought of when I saw the subject line.

Justanotherbiblophile | 1756 comments Ann aka Iftcan wrote: "Ok, I had to go check it out--and there WERE cops who came in and inspected trash. The boy had to lie because there were some tomato seeds in the trash and he said that he'd found the plant in the ..."

So, what about the rabbits and the basement? The OP's "under the house"

message 13: by bookel (new)

bookel | 2106 comments World-future Images in Children's Literature - Page 166
1978 - ‎Snippet view
"Perhaps the greatest number of levels occurs in The Missing Persons League (Bonham). We are told there are "at least eight levels," although they are not described. Apparently government employees are among those who receive higher status, and are entitled to a larger food ration and access to more natural, rather than artificial, foods."

"... disposal of dirt excavated from under the house might have given away their illegal garden, so they packed it into the walls of their house, with the unfortunate side effect that it was suspiciously quiet inside."

Kirkus Review
"The oxygen-and vitamin-starved environment of San Diego some years in the future makes Dogtown look like paradise, but you'll recognize resourceful Brian Foster who manages to sidestep involvement with the local gangs while augmenting his prescribed Level Five diet of algaeburgers by growing vegetables and keeping rabbits in a secret, basement ""farm."" Brian's trouble begins when he determines to track down his mother and sister, who disappeared a year before in an apparently patternless epidemic of missing persons. The response to his ad in the Personals column of the local newspaper includes visits from the Environmental Police, who leave a bugging device in the kitchen; a letter, apparently from Charles Dickens, which directs him to an anti-matter planet called Arret; and the friendly interest of Heather Morse. Heather herself is brainwashed by someone who calls every night with instructions cued in by strains of a Brahms lullaby, and she puts Brian in touch with his own ""conductor"", the yellow-coveralled Gumball King. Brian needs periodic fixes of pure oxygen to get through the day in his polluted world, and readers will be left breathless too, trying to figure out who can be trusted and just where Brian's father's invention of a mercury-weighted golf club fits in. Oddy, only the utopian dream held out by the ending seems like science fiction; Brian's stainless steel wrapped, quick frozen reality is chillingly convincing, and this time round the hypnotically slick gimmicks that turn Bonham's plot into a minefield are part and parcel of the message.
Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1976
Publisher: Dutton"

"under the house" -- the original poster didn't think of the word basement and thought of the next best descriptor.

The hidden "farm" is one of the most memorable parts of The Missing Persons League by Frank Bonham. I've seen it mentioned in book queries before. It happens to be one of the most frequently asked-for books.
Groups:Name that Book/Frequently sought stories

To me this thread is proved beyond a doubt. Solved.

message 14: by Anais (new)

Anais | 2 comments Thank you all for replying! The Missing Persons League is the book I was searching for :)

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