The House of the Scorpion 2003 Honor Book ***

The House of the Scorpion is a science fiction based in the future. Mexico no longer exists, there is now Opium a country that borders the U.S. and Aztlan. Just as many people are immigrating to Aztlan as the U.S., but get caught in the middle in Opium. Matt is a clone of El Patron the leader of the country. Unlike other clones, his brains haven't been ruined and he's able to learn, communicate and even play the piano. As he ages he slowly comes to understand his real realtionship with the 148 year old leader of the country and what he must do to make a life for himself.

As a former molecular biologist, I really like genetic thrillers. Having created plant clones myself, I love to think about how our world would be different if we could make human clones. Not that I think we should, but some days I wish I had a clone to clean the bathrooms! I think this book would be hard for younger children to followalthough those in junior high or school would really like it. The last section of the book does seem to drag on a bit, I wish the author hadn't spent so much time with the Keepers.

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