The House of the Scorpion

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By Nancy Farmer

At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón's bodyguard, "How old am I?...I know I don't have a birthday like humans, but I was born."

"You were harvested," Tam Lin reminds him. "You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her."

To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. A room full of chicken litter with roaches for friends and old chicken bones for toys is considered good enough for him. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico—Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.

The House of the Scorpion is a dystopian novel that describes a futuristic world where human cloning is commonplace, and life is created and destroyed at the whim of the wealthy and powerful. As the story of Matt’s life unfolds, he looks for answers about his own self-worth and the essence of humanity. This book was the National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature and a Newbery Honor Book.

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Product Details

  • Paperback Edition
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: May 1, 2004
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 5.5(w) x 8.2(h)
  • Item weight: 0.75 lbs