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Grade 5Ã¢ÂÂ8Ã¢ÂÂHonour and her parents have been forcibly relocated to a seaside shack, the most dangerous living facility in this carefully constructed dystopia. In this future world, reminiscent of that in Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993), the Corporation, headed by the mysterious Earth Mother, has created a totally controlled society. Lands are being enclosed to protect the inhabitants from freak natural weather, and "safe" weather is created with overlaysÃ¢ÂÂfake sunrises and sunsets projected daily on the sky. Honour's parents refuse to conform. Honour suffers from being different, but when she meets Helix, a boy whose parents are also intent on rebelling against the Corporation, the two children must discover a way to rescue Helix's parents and Honour's mother, who have been "taken" and turned into the zombielike orderlies who mindlessly serve the government. Honour's evolution from someone willing to conform to make life easier and safer to one committed to fight for her individuality is believable. The increasingly sinister atmosphere, echoing elements of National Socialism and China's Cultural Revolution, is well done. Parodies of self-help books for children ("What It Feels Like When Parents Disappear") add grim humour. Miss Blessing, one of the Corporation toadies, with her perfectly buttoned cardigan and high sweet voice, is a particularly chilling character. A compelling science-fiction novel.Ã¢ÂÂQuinby Frank, Green Acres School, Rockville, MD
Copyright ÃÂ© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Allegra Goodman is a National Book Award Finalist and the author of Intuition, a New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book of 2006. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
*A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2008* *A Washington Post Best Book of 2008* *A Village Voice Best Book of 2008* "This beautifully written novel is a dystopian page-turner, using well-worn tropes to confront adult issues such as authoritarian government and global warming." -- Washington Post "Allegra Goodman develops her world with deft strokes, bringing together the linguistic traditions of the dystopian novel with those of classic post-disaster stories..." -- New York Times Book Review "A dark vision rendered in wonderful and imaginative detail, The Other Side of the Island is a cautionary tale that will likely be embraced by left-leaning, politically aware and environmentally conscious teens and adults alike, regardless of whether or not they read sci-fi." -- Los Angeles Times "From Kaaterskill Falls to Intuition, Goodman's fiction proves that she can tackle big subjects with unobtrusively graceful and perceptive prose. Her first YA offering, a dystopian eco-fantasy in which a malevolent Corporation lulls North America's few remaining inhabitants into complacency with memory altering substances, misinformation, fake skies and a leader named Earth Mother, is a top-notch genre piece..." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "Gripping and creepily prescient." --Village Voice