The violent world of the underclass and the daily battle with hopeless poverty, drug addiction, and other urban horrors come vividly to life in a collection of stories about being young and desperate in the South Bronx. A first collection. Original.
It is 1966, and the times, they are a-changin’. Fifteen-year-old Stephen is on his way to a summer program in France when he meets two glamorous new friends of his older brother, Rob, who has been missing for 18 months. They persuade Stephen to travel to Istanbul with them, to find his brother. And what a world opens up to him: a world of beautiful girls, drug busts, fascinating cultures, fast-moving friendships, and betrayals. As he travels further into Asia, the nature of Stephen’s journey changes: The search for his brother is replaced by an inner exploration, in which he must confront his own past, and his own dark secret.
The House of the Scorpion By Nancy Farmer is about Matthew who is a clone of El Patrón, a powerful drug lord of the land of Opium, which is located between the United States and Mexico. For six years, he has lived in a tiny cottage in the poppy fields with Celia, a kind and deeply religious servant woman who is charged with his care and safety. He knows little about his existence until he is discovered by a group of children playing in the fields and wonders why he isn’t like them. Though Matt has been spared the fate of most clones, who have their intelligence destroyed at birth, the evil inhabitants of El Patrón’s empire consider him a “beast” and an “eejit.” When El Patrón dies at the age of 146, fourteen-year-old Matt escapes Opium with the help of Celia and Tam Lin, his devoted bodyguard who wants to right his own wrongs. After a near misadventure in his escape, Matt makes his way back home and begins to rid the country of its evils.