Book Review: The House of the Scorpion

by Melissa on December 18, 2009 · 0 comments

in 14-17, Adventure, Good book for boys, Sci-Fi, Social Issues

Title: The house of the scorpion
Publisher: Atheneum
Author: Nancy Farmer
Lexile: [?] 660L
ATOS Level: [?] 5.1
Parent Rating:
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Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Go For Age Range: 14-17


In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.


This story has some complex social issues, but the 14-17 year-old range is probably ready for it.  I don’t think younger kids will find the story very interesting because the movement of the story is through the social problems.  Likely to generate some interesting conversation on cloning and government.


Level 1 [?]

Sexual Content

Some kissing between teens.  One scene where a girl is forced to kiss a teen in front of a crowd.


How opium is grown and harvested.  Multiple references to adults being drunk and on drugs.


Stories about chupacabras and of La Llorona, who roams the earth looking for children.  Bombs are programmed to recognize certain people.  Children on a school bus are accidentally killed by a bomb. Torture of a frog.


Human embryos are implanted into cows to grow, most of them die.  Baby clones are poked in the brain with a needle at birth to blunt their intelligence. Child neglect and abuse.  Several scenes of clones dying or being killed with little regard.


References to Catholic icons.  A girl loves a clone and, because they are considered to have no soul, thinks it’s a sin and will go to hell for it.

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