The Scavengers

The Scavengers

3.6 3
by Michael Perry

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Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember meets Louis Sachar's Holes in this imaginative and hilarious middle grade novel from New York Times bestselling author Michael Perry.

When the world started to fall apart, the government gave everyone two choices: move into the Bubble Cities…or take their chances outside. Maggie's family


Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember meets Louis Sachar's Holes in this imaginative and hilarious middle grade novel from New York Times bestselling author Michael Perry.

When the world started to fall apart, the government gave everyone two choices: move into the Bubble Cities…or take their chances outside. Maggie's family chose to live in the world that was left behind. Deciding it's time to grow up and grow tough, Maggie rechristens herself "Ford Falcon"—a name inspired by the beat-up car she finds at a nearby junkyard. Ford's family goes to this junkyard to scavenge for things they can use or barter with the other people who live OutBubble. Her family has been able to survive this brave new world by working together. But when Ford comes home one day to discover her home ransacked and her family missing, she must find the strength to rescue her loved ones with the help of some unlikely friends.

The Scavengers is a wholly original tween novel that combines an action-packed adventure, a heartfelt family story, and a triumphant journey of self-discovery in a world where one person's junk is another person's key to survival. Katherine Applegate, author of the Newbery Medal winner The One and Only Ivan, raves "Michael Perry pulls out all the stops in this colorful tale."

Editorial Reviews

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)
Katherine Applegate
“Michael Perry pulls out all the stops in this colorful tale. You gotta love Ford Falcon, an intrepid heroine who can pepper-bomb a solar bear while quoting Emily Dickinson. As her friend Toad might say: Le-dightful.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Ford Falcon capably demonstrates how a smart, determined kid might handle the end of the world and her place in it.”
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.”
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.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Perry is a humorist, radio host, songwriter, and the New York Times bestselling author of several nonfiction books, including Visiting Tom and Population: 485. He lives in rural Wisconsin with his family.

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The Scavengers 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
SUMMARY – Maggie was an OutBubbler. She and her family live outside the “Bubble-cities” that most people choose live under. The bubble-cities were cities that are under bubble-like domes that “protect” the inhabitants from danger. The OutBubblers live out of the cities and fend for themselves, with no electricity, guns, or other things like it. When Maggie’s family disappears and her house is ransacked, she and her little brother find refuge with their neighbors, Arlinda and Toad Hopper. Maggie soon finds out that her father had things he was doing with the government, and that he had deserted, and the government wanted him back. What will Maggie do? WHAT I THOUGHT – This was a really cool book. The dystopian factor was cool, but also slightly creepy. I would like to know more about the back-story about the bubble-cities and how they came to be. Toad Hopper, Maggie’s neighbor, is a cool guy. He is sometimes hard to understand, because he uses tons of word-play and pig latin in what he says (for example: Nule Rumber Half A Dancing Skirt) – but it is also kind of fun to decode what he’s trying to say. Maggie is a great female character that you come to care for. She is brave and spunky at the same time. The setting is important to the story. Fortunately for the reader, Mr. Perry is a great story-teller and he vividly described the world. The world really makes it hard for the OutBubblers to live, but it makes it more worthwhile when they succeed. The way the land is described makes me think of a barren wasteland outside of the bubble-cities (besides huge government-run fields of genetically-modified corn). The story-telling in the book is really, really good. *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago