National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 2002
Matt is a clone of El Patrón, a powerful drug lord of the land of Opium, which is located between the United States and Mexico. For six years, he has lived in a tiny cottage in the poppy fields with Celia, a kind and deeply religious servant woman who is charged with his care and safety. He knows little about his existence until he is discovered by a group of children playing in the fields and wonders why he isn't like them. Though Matt has been spared the fate of most clones, who have their intelligence destroyed at birth, the evil inhabitants of El Patrón's empire consider him a "beast" and an "eejit".
When El Patrón dies at the age of 146, 14-year-old Matt escapes Opium with the help of Celia and Tam Lin, his devoted bodyguard who wants to right his own wrongs. After a near misadventure in his escape, Matt makes his way back home and begins to rid the country of its evils.
©2004 Nancy Farmer (P)2008 Simon and Schuster
The story stands on it's own as a fantastic and well written tale asking deep questions about humanity, love and fairness. The reading is absolutely stellar. Our whole family enjoyed the story from our 11 year old to our 20 year old as well as both of us parents. Perfect road trip story, can't wait to hear the next one!
This is an intriguing concept in today's world where cloning exists. The audio of the book truly brought the story to life. I can't wait to hear the sequel!
I used this recording to accompany the book with students. It added a lot drama and interest having an actor read the book.
The audio book is not separated by chapters but by sections which is a HUGE problem when you try to start and stop the book for multiple classes.
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