Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Book Review 6: The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

I'm not quite sure about this one. It was an interesting read at least. I tend to enjoy books that are set in the "near" future supposedly and have political or social commentary. Reminds me of the Giver. In this, I take it to mean that Global Warming has occurred and all the polar ice caps have melted and the Earth has changed. The new leader is "Earth Mother" and the Corporation. They are putting shields over all the Earth so that they can control the weather. The main character starts out kind of young, her name is Honor. In this new world, all babies are named a certain letter for the year they are born. Honor's year is of course H. For some reason her family has moved to this island, that is partially under this shield. The sky is controlled, they only see certain stars and the sky's color is projected by the Corporation. They don't have weather really, although twice in the book there are big storms. Honor's parents aren't quite part of the group. First off, Honor's mother is pregnant, and families in this time don't have more than one kid, or if they do, that other child is adopted by couples who can't have kids. Because she is pregnant she can't get a job. She keeps the baby and the year he is born in makes his name start with a Q, they name him Quintillian. The school Honor, and eventually Quintillian go to is very strict. The books have things cut out, and only certain books are allowed. The pledge of allegiance as we know it has been changed, as well as the students only learn certain things, and happy songs, etc.

The "resistance" as you may call it, is led by the Forecaster. We do get a glimpse at who this is at the very end. But people who resist are "taken". Parents are taken from their children, making them orphans. These orphans have no idea where their parents have gone, but they now must live at the school with other orphans. This happens to Honor's friend Helix when his parents are taken.

I'm not sure as I said, it was an okay book, but since I don't think Global Warming is all that, I have trouble telling what this book is trying to say exactly. But I think kids would enjoy it, and I like that it would get them thinking about issues.

Today I started the next book called Voss: How I come to America and am hero, mostly by David Ives. Again, not sure if I'm going to like this one very much, I think it's kind of weird. I was worried I would get backed up, but starting this book today I am back on track.

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