*Warning* Minor spoilers ahead.
“I keep running, wishing I could escape my own skin.” Quote from Leanna, the main character, on page 62.
The Clone Codes gave me chills from the first lines. The opening sequence, which features twenty-second century kids running for their lives with Harriet Tubman, was thrilling. From there I read the rest of the book, 170 pages, in one seating.
There is nothing ordinary about Clone Codes. Leanna is a thirteen year-old girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is arrested. She finds herself on the run, at the center of a scientific and political war and she makes unexpected friends along the way. Her travel companions include Benjamin Franklin, Justice John Marshall Harlan and Eleanor Roosevelt.
It is 2170, which means that, much to the delight of readers of all background, there is an array of cool words, an innovative water game, and mind blowing technological features such as computerized glasses that allow you to stock your memories, virtually attend school and chat for hours with your best friend. Because of these elements, I believe the book will appeal to the inner geek in young children.
The authors, Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack, Frederick L. McKissack and their son John McKissack, possibly invented a new genre: historical science-fiction. As oxymoronic as it sounds, the story does invite the young reader to analyze past and contemporary issues such as human trafficking, while reflecting on the future implications of cloning and other forms of biotechnology.
The Clone Codes blends history and science fiction and makes for a fun read for the teen audience; yet its topic is contemporary and thought provoking. I believe it best suited for 10-12 y.o. and highly recommend it. It seems that a sequel, about cyborg codes, is in progress.
If you read or reviewed Clone Codes, I’m curious to know your thoughts. 🙂