The Clone Codes

The Clone Codes

4.7 7
by Patricia C. McKissack, Fredrick McKissack, John McKissack
     
 

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The Cyborg Wars are over and Earth has peacefully prospered for more than one hundred years. Yet sometimes history must repeat itself until humanity learns from its mistakes. In the year 2170, despite technological and political advances, cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom.… See more details below

Overview

The Cyborg Wars are over and Earth has peacefully prospered for more than one hundred years. Yet sometimes history must repeat itself until humanity learns from its mistakes. In the year 2170, despite technological and political advances, cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom. Thirteen-year-old Leanna's entire life is thrown into chaos when The World Federation of Nations discovers her mom is part of the radical Liberty Bell Movement.

After her mother's arrest for treason, Leanna must escape as she is chased by a ruthless bounty hunter. Soon Leanna finds herself living among the Firsts, and nothing will ever be the same again. But what does The World Federation want with the daughter of a traitor? So much is uncertain. Danger hides everywhere. Fear takes over. With help from unlikely sources, Leanna learns the origin of The Liberty Bell Movement and how its members may have answers about her past-and her new reality.

As family secrets are revealed, Leanna must face startling truths about self-identity and freedom. Through time travel, advanced technologies, and artificial intelligence, this exhilarating adventure asks what it means to be human and explores the sacrifices an entire society will make to find out.

Acclaimed authors Patricia C. McKissack and Frederick L. McKissack have collaborated with their son, John to deliver a novel that is as suspenseful as it is searing.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Rachel Wadham
When government officials arrest her mother for being a member of "The Liberty Bell," a subversive group believed to be conspiring with aliens to undermine the foundations of society, Leanna finds herself spirited off into an underground railroad much like the one she has been studying in her virtual high school history class. With the assistance of her "conductors" and the support of virtual representations of historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Leanna learns important secrets that reveal she is the only one who can force changes to the atrocious treatment of the world's clones and cyborgs who have no status as human beings. Expecting great things from the well-known McKissacks, who write this novel along with their newcomer son John, and anticipating the creative results of an intriguing premise, it is disappointing that this novel falls completely flat. The characters are one-dimensional, and some additions, like the aliens, are just unnecessary. Although the plot is fast paced, it is ultimately disjointed and comes to no real ending. Connections to actual history serve only to make the theme of honoring life feel didactic and strained. The setting also feels forced, and elements such as futuristic teen slang and a game played in an antigravity chamber are just distracting and do not add any ambiance. Even as some genre readers will be attracted to the action and setting and others will pick it up because of recognizable authors, this novel will certainly not attract readers through its poor construction and didacticism. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
The year is 2170 and thirteen-year-old Leanna learns about the American Civil War by donning her commonglasses at All Virtual School. She then becomes a slave escaping on the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman. When it is over, Leanna shares the experience with her classmates. Little did Leanna know that this experience would prepare her for a similar war that was presently brewing. Leanna's mother is suddenly arrested and Leanna slowly learns of her mother's involvement with a radical group called The Liberty Bell Movement. This group believes that all beings are equal, even clones. But Leanna knows that clones are inferior beings without emotions and that they should be kept and used in subservient positions. She is startled to learn of her mother's role with the Liberty Bell Movement and even more surprised to find out that she herself is proof that clones are indeed equal beings. This gripping and action packed novel is full of futuristic ideologies and their thought provoking implications. Reviewer: Denise Daley
Judith A. Hayn
History repeats itself in this science fiction tour de force set in the United States in 2071. Leanna Deberry keeps a virtual diary to chronicle her dawning awareness of her status in a post-Cyborg-War world. Mixing history with fiction, the McKissacks (parents and son) document how humanity becomes its own worst enemy. At 13, Leanna discovers she is a dreaded under-being, a clone Her mother and mentor are jailed as dissidents for participating in the Liberty Bell Foundation, whose goal is to change the Cyborg slaveocracy system. The indomitable heroine uses her knowledge of the African slave trade; the Fugitive Slave Act; the Underground Railroad; the 13th Amendment; and proponents of freedom in her quest to save her loved ones. In a riveting tale, Leanna also discovers herself as a "sentient" biological being who has the same rights as everyone else, even though she is a clone. Reviewer: Judith A. Hayn
Publishers Weekly
Thirteen-year-old Leanna has run from slave catchers with Harriet Tubman thanks to a virtual reality history class. Yet like many people in the year 2170, she believes clones aren't human, and thus keeping them as slaves doesn't bother her. But Leanna's world is shaken when her mother and a close family friend are arrested as suspected traitors for wanting to give clones civil rights. And when a discovery turns her world upside down and she makes a friend who belongs to a group she believed to be nearly as bad as clones, Leanna discovers that saving herself and her mother means joining the fight for clone equality. But even being immersed in the oppressed culture does not lead to Leanna's instant conversion. The McKissacks (Days of Jubilee), working with their son John for the first time, portray a plugged-in 22nd-century America that is recognizably descended both from contemporary prejudices as well as a modern reliance on technology. The story is tight and fast-paced, yet makes room for historical parallels that are vivid without being preachy. An intriguing start to a planned trilogy. Ages 9–12. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—A clunky, didactic science-fiction allegory. Leanna, 13, is studying the Underground Railroad. African slavery is ancient history in this America of 2170, but a new group is enslaved: clones. Leanna gives little thought to their status until her mother is suddenly arrested for ties to The Liberty Bell, a secret clone-liberation organization. Shaken, disbelieving, and afraid for her mother's life at the hands of cruel government captors, the teen asks her mother's friend for help. Using biographs—human replicas similar to holograms—Dr. Ayala introduces past and present figures entrusted with The Liberty Bell's work: Benjamin Franklin, Justice John Marshall Harlan, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Leanna's grandfather, Dr. David Montgomery. Leanna learns the importance of their work as well as a dangerous secret about her own identity. Some aspects of the plot are predictable and poorly drawn: few readers will be surprised when the "unnamed girl from 2170" whom Ben Franklin predicts will join the ranks of The Liberty Bell's Custodians is revealed to be the protagonist. Similarly, too many references to the distant past—such as Leanna describing her disheveled mother looking "like old photos of twentieth-century drug addicts"—prevent the futuristic setting from coming to life. Still, the fast pace, short chapters, and slim page count will make this volume attractive to reluctant readers, and the obvious curriculum tie-ins will appeal to teachers.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
It is the year 2170, and Leanna, daughter of a respected child psychologist, is a typical 13-year-old interested in friends and sports. She is enrolled in All-Virtual School, where she experiences such historical events as an escape with Harriet Tubman. This becomes real when her mother is arrested for activism on behalf of the clones who serve as slave labor for humans. Leanna follows her mother's order to flee the clutches of her mother's jailers. While on the run, a message reveals that her mother's interest in clones was more than academic: Leanna is herself a clone and in danger should that fact be discovered. With the help of others sympathetic to their cause, Leanna avoids detection while dealing with facts about her identity that send her reeling. Some of the parallels to American slavery and racism are obvious; others are clever, such as the depiction of a secondary character, Houston, a closeted cyborg (another oppressed minority) who happens to be three-fifths human. This is fast-paced adventure with a provocative exploration of civil rights and identity. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439929837
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/01/2010
Series:
Clone Codes Series
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,490,589
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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