Every year a new generation of genetically-engineered children is shipped out to meet their parents. Every spring the residents of his town take down the snow they've stuck to their windows and put up flowers. Every morning his family gathers around their television and votes, like everyone else, for whatever matter of national importance the president has on the table. Read more...
Every year a new generation of genetically-engineered children is shipped out to meet their parents. Every spring the residents of his town take down the snow they've stuck to their windows and put up flowers. Every morning his family gathers around their television and votes, like everyone else, for whatever matter of national importance the president has on the table. Today, it is the color of his drapes. It's business as usual under the protective dome of suburb HM1.
And it's all about to come crashing down.
Because a stranger has come to take away all the little children, including Martin's sister, Cassie, and no one wants to talk about where she has gone. The way Martin sees it, he has a choice. He can remain in the dubious safety of HM1, with danger that no one wants to talk about lurking just beneath the surface, or he can actually break out of the suburb, into the mysterious land outside, rumored to be nothing but blowing sand for miles upon miles.
Acclaimed author Clare B. Dunkle has crafted a fresh and fast-paced science-fiction thriller, one that challenges her characters -- and her readers -- to look closer at the world they take for granted.
Another perfect day
What if the only world you ever knew had a sky that was always blue, with puffy white clouds that never moved? What if every house on every street was exactly the same? What if your pets, your food, even your little sister arrived in a shipment from the dangerous, mysterious outside worlda world you had never seen?
That's what life is like for Martin. He and his family have lived their entire lives in a domed "suburb," where neighbors gather for Sport Day and enjoy big meals (automatically selected by their slot-machine oven) on Rest Day. Their identical townhouses are decorated with pictures of seasonal flowers, and their school day is made up of endless drills conducted on handheld computers. Every morning, his parents use the family computer to vote on an issue of national concern, such as the color of the Oval Office's drapes.
Life in the suburb might seem orderly, but there's a darker side. What happens to the people who suddenly disappear? And why is the government threatening to recall the latest batch of Wonder Children, the precocious kidslike Martin's sister Cassiewho are asking too many questions? Martin might not have all the answers, but he is fiercely loyal to his sister, and he's determined to find her, even if it means leaving the domed world he's always known.
Clare B. Dunkle, author of the popular Hollow Kingdom fantasy trilogy, has created a richly imagined, thoroughly frightening society. Her novel takes place in a world much like our own, and its characters have believable strengths and weaknesses. Offering insightful commentaries into today's society and raising challenging questions about the future, The Sky Inside is the kind of science fiction novel that will encourage young readers to think aboutand discusssome of the larger issues in their own lives.
Norah Piehl is a writer and editor in the Boston area.