Sunday, April 6, 2008

The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer

The House of the Scorpionis one of those rare books that can be enjoyed fully by 12-year-olds and professors of literature alike, with everything in between. The story is so complete, the characters are told so well, that you can't help but feel like part of the story.

The questions this book brings up involve cloning, the pros and cons, as well as ethnics and morality, behind the use of embryos and living cells of damaged humans to better the lives of the living. It also brings up issues involving governmental corruption, the dichotomy of good and evil, and the intended good but overall evils of communism.
This book is long (380 pages in paperback), but it simply stunning. I recommend this book for many reasons, such as the questions and issues I just mentioned.

I would really enjoy being part of a discussion on this book, with other adults, I was entranced by the issues, and found myself questioning ideals I've held for a long time. So do me a favor, read this amazing book and we can talk about it.

I would recommend this book for use in classroom at ages 14 and up, but I have had students as young as 11 read it and enjoy it fully. A few years ago, one of my struggling readers picked this book up in the library and read it. It took him some time to get through it, but he was very happy with the story and said he understood it well, and did after our subsequent discussions and writings on the book. Let me know if you have any success with this one, it is truly deserving of the awards it has received.


jn teach said...

I recently completed a small literary circle on this book. It was my advanced 6th graders that read it, and they enjoyed it. It is a very deep book.