The Sky Insideby Clare B. Dunkle
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/b>/big>/big>
Martin lives in a perfect world.
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.
Gr 5-8- A mediocre science-fiction novel from a wonderful fantasy writer. The setting, a domed suburb in some distant future, seems far too familiar and worn out. Like many books before it, The Sky Inside paints a bleak future filled with mind-numbed people going about their days. And, as always, there is one child filled with the curiosity to break through the mind freeze and find his way into adventure. Dunkle's setting and plot may be overdone and trite, but her characters show her true writing ability. Thirteen-year-old Martin, his A.I. dog, and his sister are well-rounded and thought-provoking characters filled with imagination and real emotions. Fans of science fiction may enjoy the story, even though they've probably read it before.-Lisa Marie Williams, East Gwillimbury Public Library, Holland Landing, Ontario
Read an Excerpt
The big television cameras of the You've Been Caught Napping game show prowled in the darkness at the edge of the set, their lenses focused on the old man's face. Mindlessly thorough, they relayed to viewers his iron gray hair, his thick bifocals, and the trickles of sweat that wandered down tracks of wrinkles into his eyes. A thoughtful viewer might have wondered why he didn't wipe the sweat away. But behind the silver podium that displayed a very high score, his hands lay trapped in a pair of strong plastic manacles. That was something those cameras couldn't see.
"You're right again, Dr. Church! You are simply amazing." The handsome host beamed at the old man, white teeth flashing in a tanned face. "That completes the round. What will our contestant do next? Will he take home his winnings?" The audience groaned. "Or will he try to double them with our special bonus quiz?"
The audience shouted and cheered. This was odd because no audience was there. Beyond the banks of garish lights, the cavernous studio was empty.
"It's a big decision," said the host. "He needs to think it over, and that gives us time for a commercial break. We'll be back with Dr. Rudolph Church right after this!"
The lively notes of a familiar advertising tune cut through the studio, and the wildly cheering audience hushed with the flick of a switch. The old man rested his head on the podium in front of him, the one that hid their nasty secret. After all, game shows were rollicking good fun, entertainment for the whole family. Imagine how viewers would feel if they saw the hypodermic needle inserted in his arm.
Meanwhile, in a comfortable living room, two of those viewers were fighting over the remote. The bigger one snatched it away and triumphantly changed the channel, and a buzzing squadron of red motor scooters charged across the screen.
"Martin, you jerk!" said the girl, flopping back onto the sofa. "You always watch these silly races! I wanted to see the rest of that."
"Mom says no game shows," Martin said smugly. "Plus, that one's stupid. 'Who wrote this?' 'What's the term for that?' It's as bad as school."
"I like it," Cassie said. "It teaches me things. And this contestantis amazing. He hasn't been sent off in nine straight shows."
"Big hairy deal," Martin said, leaning forward to grab her bag of chips. "Who cares what happens to one old man?"
Copyright © 2008 by Clare B. Dunkle
Meet the Author
Clare B. Dunkle is the author of the well-received Hollow Kingdom trilogy as well as the first volume in this story, The Sky Inside. She studied Russian and Latin at Trinity University, and also holds a a master's degree in library science from Indiana University. She was a member of the American Library Association and served on committees in ALCTS, ACRL, and LITA. She lives with her family in Texas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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My review on The Sky Inside. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars because it was very interesting. The book talks about what could happen in the future of the world. This book is about a thirteen year old, Martin Glass, that lives under a dome. Everyone tells him that he is lucky to be able to live under the dome. They said that the outside world is to dangerous to live in. Martin has a mom, a dad, and a younger sister, Cassie. Cassie is a wonder baby. Wonder babies are specially engeneered, for their parent's wants and needs. All the houses in the dome are similar and everything is normal in the suburb. Until a man came to the suburb in a boxcar. The boxcar is the only way to get in or out of the suburb. The man takes all the yonger wonder babies including Martin's sister. The man said that he was taking the wonder babies to a special school somewhere outside of the dome. Martin was mad that everyone, in the dome, because they just excepted the idea that a man took all the wonder babies. Martin decided to leave the dome and to save his sister. Martin got out with the help of his robotic dog. If you want to learn more about what happens next then read the book! I recommend this book to any young adult reader. I would recommend it for them because this book has lots of interesting adventures. It makes you want to read more and more. Every chapter you get to builds suspence to the reader. Also This book is about the future. It uses robots and many other cool and interestying things. Many young adults like reading science fiction. They also like futuristic machines and robots.
The idea was very interesting itself, but I was sad to see that the author did not do a great job on writing it. The beginning was interesting, but as the novel prgressed I felt less and less interested. I couldn't even finish the book because I got so bored. I didn't understad what was supposed to be happening, and why the author had to describe every tiny detail.
From the beginning the story is very engrossing, building an excellent plot...but the ending is ponderous (spoiler alerts) Who exactly did Martin's Father meet with and what is the nature of that authority? Who made the AllDog and what is their agenda? How many models are their beyond dish 14? etc. I enjoyed the questions of citizenship and consumerism raised by this book and I think these could be further developed; leading to an excellent contemplation by not only teens but also adults. This book really needs a part two to complete the journey! A resolution would increase my ratings dramatically. BTW there is NO reason the NOOK version should be so expensive!
But I don't understand how an ebook could be more expensive than a hardcover copy of the same story.