House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer
The House of the Scorpion won multiple awards in 2002 and 2003. The story takes place on the American border in a country called Opium, a poppy-producing farmland in a future time. The main character is Matt, who is a clone of the original Matteo Alacran, the 142 year old absolute ruler of Opium.
Matteo Alacran, called El Patron, has lived so long through numerous clones who have provided him with hearts and other organs over the years. Matt is the only clone whose brain was not destroyed at birth for he shares El Patron’s DNA. Matt wonders about his future , but soon he sees what may lie ahead for him, surrounded by body guards, El Patron’s power-hungry family and the mindless clone slaves in the fields and he plans an escape. Will he escape and what does the future hold for him? - Mary Boyd (Retired librarian - IISD)