2007 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
Synopses & Reviews
A gothic tale becomes all too shockingly real in this mesmerizing magnum opus by the acclaimed author of Feed
It sounds like a fairy tale. He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the finest of classical educations. Raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother a princess in exile from a faraway land are the only persons in their household assigned names. As the boy's regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians' fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments and his own chilling role in them.
Set against the disquiet of Revolutionary Boston, M. T. Anderson's extraordinary novel takes place at a time when American Patriots rioted and battled to win liberty while African slaves were entreated to risk their lives for a freedom they would never claim. The first of two parts, this deeply provocative novel reimagines the past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for readers today.
"A brilliantly complex interrogation of our basic American assumptions. Anderson has created an alternative narrative of our national mythology, one that fascinates, appalls, condemns and enthralls." The Horn Book
"The story's scope is immense, in both its technical challenges and underlying intellectual and moral questions....Readers will marvel at Anderson's ability to maintain this high-wire act of elegant, archaic language and shifting voices." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Filled with sarcasm and humor, this book will appeal to all teens . . . Teachers will love the high-level vocabulary (and content clues), sophisticated mathematical and scientific references, and non-stop allusions to writers, poets, books, and historical events."
"Johnson's debut novel is original and thought-provoking."
and#8212;School Library Journal
Presented in eighteenth century-style prose, this unique historical novel opens in a dreamlike setting and then moves progressively to stark realism.
Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age 16, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.
Now in paperback, this deeply provocative novel reimagines the past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for readers today.
Young Octavian is being raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers -- but it is only after he opens a forbidden door that learns the hideous nature of their experiments, and his own chilling role them. Set in Revolutionary Boston, M. T. Andersons mesmerizing novel takes place at a time when Patriots battled to win liberty while African slaves were entreated to risk their lives for a freedom they would never claim. The first of two parts, this deeply provocative novel reimagines past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for readers today.
"Andersons imaginative and highly intelligent exploration of . . . the ambiguous history of Americas origins will leave readers impatient for the sequel." -- THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
A wildly entertaining novel about a young man who discovers that he is part of a secret society of immortal were-creatures bent on hunting one another into extinction.
"A shameful fact about humanity is that some people can be so ugly that no one will be friends with them. It is shameful that humans can be so cruel, and it is shameful that humans can be so ugly."
So begins the incredible story of Myron Horowitz, a disfigured thirteen-year-old just trying to fit in at his Pennsylvania school. When a fight with a bully leaves him unconscious and naked in the wreckage of the cafeteria, Myron discovers that he is an immortal lycanthropeand#8212;a were-mammal who can transform from human to animal. He also discovers that there are others like him, and many of them want Myron dead. and#8220;People will turn into animals,and#8221; says the razor-witted narrator of this tour-de-force, and#8220;and here come ancient secrets and rivers of blood.and#8221;
About the Author
M. T. Anderson is the author of several books for children and young adults, including Feed, which was a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. M. T. Anderson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.