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|One safe place|
Author: Unsworth, Tania
In a near future world of heat, greed, and hunger, Devin earns a coveted spot in a home for abandoned children that promises unlimited food and toys and the hope of finding a new family, but Devin discovers the home's horrific true mission when he investigates its intimidating Administrator and the zombie-like sickness that afflicts some children.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 169982
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 63946
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 Gr 5–8—Twelve-year-old Devin's loss of his grandfather leaves him unprepared to take care of their formerly self-sufficient farm—one of the precious few left on the face of the earth. He leaves this oasis hoping to find some willing hands to help him keep the farm going. Instead, the people he meets in the city are so devoid of morals or compassion that when Devin and his new friend, Kit, have a chance to go to the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood, they seize the opportunity. It isn't long before Devin senses that this home is a little too good to be true. Though surrounded by amusements, beautiful grounds, and plenty of food, the other children are morose, nervous, and listless. Occasionally Devin runs across a child acting in a bizarre, disoriented fashion, yet he is advised by the other children to completely ignore these episodes and never mention them again. The Administrator of this institution interviews Devin and informs him that he is gifted in ways he never understood. His five senses overlap—for instance, visually perceived objects have accompanying sounds only Devin can hear. The Administrator closes the interview with the sinister words, "I'm saving you for something special". This book is reminiscent of Clive Barker's The Thief of Always(HarperCollins, 1992). The suspense and dread build as the mystery gradually unfolds, but it stops short of becoming truly horrific. The conclusion is fast-paced and gripping. An original dystopian story for middle-grade readers.—Kathy Cherniavsky, Ridgefield Library, CT - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2014 The story of Hansel and Gretel gets a dystopian sci-fi revamp in Unsworth’s ominous offering. Devin has just buried his grandfather, which forces him to leave the fertile valley of his farm and venture out into the drought-plagued, food-scarce world. After befriending fellow street urchin Kit, the two are discovered by a young man who invites them to a place where food, water, and diversions are in abundance. Indeed, the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood seems to be just that, crawling with well-fed kids hoping to be adopted by the elderly visitors. But then Devin and Kit learn of the Place, where every few weeks, they receive a shot and disappear into a dream for two days. Something is rotten, and they need to figure it out before their brains become spoiled. Mostly this book acts as a protracted wait for the big reveal, without much in the way of detail or characters. But the wait is delicious, and the reveal is plenty icky, making this a page-turner perfect for fans of Mike A. Lancaster. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.