The Scavengers

( 1 )


I needed a better name. A stronger name. I wedged my fists on my hips and I announced that Maggie was yesterday, and from this day forward I would answer only to Ford Falcon.

Life outside the Bubble Cities is rough. Electricity is history. The weather can change at a moment's notice. And the world is short on food but full of trouble.

After her family chose to take their chances OutBubble, Maggie decided it was time to grow up and grow tough. ...

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The Scavengers

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I needed a better name. A stronger name. I wedged my fists on my hips and I announced that Maggie was yesterday, and from this day forward I would answer only to Ford Falcon.

Life outside the Bubble Cities is rough. Electricity is history. The weather can change at a moment's notice. And the world is short on food but full of trouble.

After her family chose to take their chances OutBubble, Maggie decided it was time to grow up and grow tough. Rechristening herself Ford Falcon, she spends her days scavenging in a junkyard near her family's makeshift house, fending off the occasional solar bear attack and keeping her eyes peeled for any GreyDevils that might be lurking around the corner.

Although times are tough, Ford, her parents, and her little brother, Dookie, have been making do. But when Ford comes home from a bartering trip to find the place ransacked and her family missing, she must prove she is brave enough to make it in this wild world alone and face whatever obstacles stand in the way of rescuing her loved ones.

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Editorial Reviews

Leslie Connor
“Gifted and gritty, Ford Falcon is a heroine with heart. She grabs you by both arms and hauls you into her world—a haunting futurescape where you have to be inventive to survive, where every decision has a price. Michael Perry’s writing is exquisite, humorous and thrilling.”
Wendy Mass
“This brave, smart, funny, independent young hero is totally unlike anyone I’ve seen before, and she uses her wits to survive in a world unlike anything I could have dreamt up.”
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Perry creates a version of the future where climate change and the threat of terrorism are wreaking havoc on the world. The government has partnered with the CornVivia Corporation to control corn production after seizing all the farmland in the country through eminent domain. Yet citizens beg the government to do something to protect everyone. The government responds by creating Bubble Cities—domed, protected cities. The corn that the CornVivia Corporation grows is called URCorn and is genetically modified to cure "cancer and diabetes and baldness and bad skin and arthritis and pretty much whatever ails you." For those families, like Maggie's, that chose to live "Out Bubble," they work very hard to survive off of the less-desirable land. Maggie's family is lucky—when they finally find a place to settle after drifting for a few years, they end up with Toad and Arlinda as neighbors. Toad and Arlinda take Maggie, her parents, and her little brother Henry under their wing teaching them about gardening, wild plants, pig latin, and spoonerisms. Both jargons are explained in the book, and for the most part, decoding the words isn't difficult; struggling readers may get distracted. One day Maggie comes home to find it ransacked and her entire family missing. She makes it her mission to find them. The unique and interesting cast of multidimensional primary and secondary characters are the narrative's strength. The portrayal of the government and corporations is not flattering, and at times the political message overwhelms the plot. However, this was an enjoyable read and Maggie is a strong, brave, adventurous, and resourceful role model for younger readers.—Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MN
Kirkus Reviews
Teen Ford Falcon (nee Maggie) headlines a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic Laura Ingalls Wilder wilderness story, complete with morning chores and Ma's dreams of a cabin with windows.At "that age where I'm not sure who I am," Maggie is haunted by memories of a previous life. Now, after the ravages of wild weather fluctuations and the "Patriotic Partnering" of agro-giant CornVivia with the government, many have chosen to live safely sequestered in cities UnderBubble—but Maggie and her family fled to the wilds of OutBubble. Outside the protective domes, Maggie and her family stay "busy scavenging, scrounging, and surviving"; neighbor Toad (speaking in pig Latin and Spoonerisms) helps out. Zombie-like GreyDevils (juiced up on the homemade hootch known as PartsWash) lurk in the woods, desperate for stray grains of CornVivia's potent, genetically modified URCorn—and there's evil in that there corn….Perry creates an engaging contrast between this hardscrabble world and Ma's desperation to maintain standards of civilization; Emily Dickinson and Earl Grey tea enjoy central roles in the tense mother-daughter relationship. With plenty of contemporary issues wrapped around a good story, this new take on familiar post-apocalyptic imagery with a science-gone-awry theme should make fertile ground for book-club discussions and teen-survivalist daydreams. Sufficient unanswered questions exist to fuel a sequel, but there's no cliffhanger—Perry provides a satisfying closing for his restless heroine.Comparisons to other gritty, engaging tough-girl-with-a-strong-moral-compass stories are inevitable, but Maggie has originality and grit to spare. (Post-apocalyptic adventure. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062026163
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 106,373
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a humorist and author of the adult bestselling memoirs Population: 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and Visiting Tom. This is his first novel for children. Michael lives in rural Wisconsin with his wife and two daughters.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2014

    Thank you Michel Perry for coming to our school

    Interesting because this is his first fiction and you came to our school and had a fun time introducing the book and the video od the cannon. We all had a blast while you were there so I personaly would like to thank you with dinner plese say yes and I will try to keep in touch with you untill then. Thank you once again for such a wonderfull time have a good weekend and please tell your chickens hi for me ta ta

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