Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pizza and Pages: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Type of Book: Sci-Fi

Plot Summary:
From Goodreads: "Matteo Alacran was not born; he was harvested with the DNA from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium. Can a boy who was bred to guarantee another’s survival find his own purpose in life? And can he ever be free?"

Average Teen Rating: 6.07
I was actually pretty shocked at how polarizing this book was! About half of my teens loved it and rated it at a 10. The rest complained that it was too slow at the beginning or too depressing and gave it low marks.

Discussion Questions:

I found discussion questions from the Multnomah County Library website and from Miss Giggles.

1. Why do you think the decision was made not to blunt Matt's intelligence? Do you think his life was easier or more difficult because of this?

2. Is a clone still human, or something else?

3. Is someone's personality formed more from their genetics or their upbringing (nature vs. nurture)?

4. Did you realize right away that this was set in the future or did you think it was in the past/present? How far into the future do you think it is?

5. What do you think happened in the story's world between now and then to make the world the way it is?

6. Do you think this could happen to us?

7. Would you clone yourself? What would you use your clone for?

8. If you lives in Matt's world, would you clone yourself to live longer or be more like El Viejo?

9. Do you think Celia's solution of poisoning Matt so that he couldn't be an organ donor to El Patron was a good one? Was there a better way?

10. Will you read the sequel?

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