The House of the Scorpion

Written by Nancy Farmer

Between the U.S.A. and Aztlán (once called Mexico) lies a strip of land, known as Opium, the name of its chief product. It is ruled by a 146-year-old drug lord known as El Patrón. His fields are tilled by illegal immigrants, called “eejits,” who have computer chips implanted in their brains so that they can be kept in slavery. Matt, a boy who is confined in a cottage on El Patrón estate, manages to break out, only to find himself treated like an animal. Eventually he learns why. The tattoo on his foot, “Property of Alacrán Estates,” means that he is a clone of El Patrón–and that he is being raised to provide spare body parts for his original. With the aid of Tam Lin, his bodyguard, Matt escapes from Opium but that is not the end of his troubles. He is imprisoned in a brutal labor camp for orphaned boys in Aztlán and leads a rebellion to rescue not only himself, but the other “Lost Boys.”

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