A former chemistry teacher and insect pathology technician who grew up in a quirky hotel on the Arizona/Mexican border, Nancy Farmer's futurisic, fantastical adventures -- like the 2002 National Book Award Winner The House of the Scorpion -- are clearly a reflection of a happily unconventional life.
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Menlo Park, California
Date of Birth:
July 9, 1941
Place of Birth:
B.A., Reed College, 1963
The Ear, the Eye and the Arm named Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association, 1995; National Book Award for The House of the Scorpion, 2002
|2002 National Book Award Winner|
|House of the Scorpion|
Winner of the 2002 National Book Award and named a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book for Young People's Literature, Farmer's seventh book is a provocative tale about a boy who is being cloned and raised for spare parts. USA Today called it "a cautionary tale that seeps into your mind and settles there."
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|In the ragtag hotel on the Arizona/Mexico border where Farmer grew up, she was surrounded by a motley group of guests that included retired railroad men, rodeo riders and circus folk. In an interview with the Educational Paperback Association, Farmer recalled, "I remember cages of lions and wolves in the parking lot. Once, when I was nine, the circus vet invited me to attend an elephant autopsy and he discovered that the animal had two hearts. Life there was a wonderful preparation for writing."|
|Former Finalist||Farmer's Breakout Book|
|A Girl Named Disaster|
No stranger to the National Book Award, Farmer was nominated for the Young People's Literature category in 1996 for this book about Nhamo, an eleven-year-old African girl struggling to escape an arranged marriage. Also named Newbery Honor book in 1997, the adventure was called "an unforgettable work" by Publishers Weekly.
|The Ear, the Eye and the Arm|
Named an Honor Book in 1995 by the American Library Association's Newbery Awards, Farmer's second book -- set in futuristic Zimbabwe, circa 2194 -- was also named a Notable Book and a Best Book for Young Adults by the ALA.
|Photo by Harold Farmer||