Friday, December 05, 2008

The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer

Published in 2002. 380 pages.
2002 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
2003 Printz Honor Book.
2003 Newbery Honor Book.

What it is about (according to the description on the Newbery site): Farmer tackles the provocative topics of cloning, the value of life, illegal immigration, and the drug trade in a coming-of-age novel set in a desolate futuristic desert.

Why I read it: I'd been eyeing this book for quite a while, so when it was thrown out as a possible read for my church women's group book club, I enthusiastically agreed. I also included it on my Book Awards Reading Challenge list.

What I thought (and what the book club thought): I found this to be a thought-provoking read. I believe that the best science-fiction is commentary on current society - and The House of the Scorpion has a lot of say about many current "hot" topics. Of those who attended our book club meeting, two seemed to have liked it but the other two really disliked it. I hadn't finished the book at that point; I did find it to be a much slower read than I had expected. But in the end, I thought it was worth my time!

Other book bloggers' reviews of The House of the Scorpion: If you have read and reviewed this book, I would love to link your review here. Please leave me a comment or email me your link!



  1. I loved this one! I find that science fiction does not usually go over well at book clubs that I have gone to.

  2. I loved this book too, even if, yes, it could be a bit slow.

    Here's my review:

  3. I want to read two books by Farmer, this being one of them. I've heard such great things about them both. Glad to see that you enjoyed this one!

  4. Chain Reader: i think it takes a particular kind of person to really enjoy science fiction. :)

    Janssen: thanks for the link! it was fun discovering your blog too!

    Joy: i hope you enjoy this book. what is the other Farmer book on your list?

  5. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm. It actually has been on my list longer than The House of the Scorpion.

  6. Like you, I enjoyed the social commentary. However, I found it to be a little too eerie and slow for my taste.