Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion

Fall 2002 Fiction
Ages: 11 - 14 yrs.
Author: Nancy Farmer
ISBN: 0-689-85222-3
Hardcover Price: $17.95
The House of the Scorpion is an enormous estate ruled over by the hundred -and- forty- year-old Matteo Alacran, also known as El Patron. This estate is part of a drug empire that lies between the United States and Aztlan (old Mexico.) Matt is the horribly lonely young clone of El Patron, despised by everyone except the cook who raised him and one of the bodyguards. Brilliant and educated by his "owner," Matt is under the illusion that he will someday take El Patron's place. Matt doesn't realize that he is only the latest in a series of El Patron clones, and that the reason the old man keeps him so close is so that he can harvest Matt's heart when his own wears out.

Set in an ecolologically disastrous future (logically derived from present abuses), Matt is one of the loneliest protagonists ever. This highly original science fiction is a well-written heart-stopper - with a happy ending.

Kemie Nix   ©2002 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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