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The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion

by Nancy Farmer

Matteo Alacran was not born; he was harvested. His DNA came from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium — a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster — except for El Patron. El Patron loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.

As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patron's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacran Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.

A Newbery Honor Book
A Michael L. Printz Honor Book
National Book Award Winner

Ages
11, 12, 13
Interest Level
Grades 6 - 8
Grade Level Equivalent
6.1
Lexile Measure
660L
DRA
70
Guided Reading
Z+
Publisher
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Number of Pages
380
Genre
Adventure, Science Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy

About the Author

Nancy Farmer Before becoming a writer, Nancy Farmer lived in Africa, and her work there included monitoring water weeds in Mozambique and helping to control tsetse flies in Zimbabwe. Since then, she has earned a host of prestigious awards for her writing, including three Newbery Honors for The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm; A Girl Named Disaster; and The House of the Scorpion.

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