The House of the Scorpion (Farmer)

This was a re-read for me. It’s the summer reading for 9th graders at my new school. I remember being impressed with how topical it was the first one – how there was so much to discuss – cloning, immigration, utopia / dystopia, individual and society, etc.. At that point, I don’t think I knew of (m)any young adult books that were so challenging.

Since then, I’ve spent more time with young adult fiction books and have become increasingly impressed with how thoughtful and well-constructed they can be.

Farmer’s book holds up well. I’ve got some questions about its pacing, but it certainly is evocative, both in terms of the issues mentioned above and in terms of setting. Aside from Matt, the characterization is not strong; most of the other characters (and there are a lot) seem to have one personality trait.

And who really killed Furball?

Has anyone read its sequel, The Lord of Opium? Thoughts on that one?

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