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The Ear, the Eye and the Arm [Mass Market Paperback]

Nancy Farmer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 17 2002
Tendai, his little sister and their younger brother escape from their splendid home to explore their dangerous city. Tendai is motivated by wanting to earn a scouting badge, and he desperately wants to prove himself, as their overprotective father has always placed tight restrictions on what the siblings can and can't do.

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From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up?It is the year 2194 in Harare, Zimbabwe. When the three over-protected children of General Amadeus Matsika are kidnapped, they learn that their country is a land of contrasts. Wealthy people live in homes staffed by robots and protected by automatic dobermans, while the poor live in a neighborhood known as The Cow's Guts, mining for plastic within the tunnels of Dead Man's Vlei (a toxic waste dump). Resthaven is an enclave for people who cling to the ancient traditions, beliefs, and customs of the Shona tribe, but the nearby MacIlwaine Hotel is a mile-high vertical city of apartments, schools, clinics, and supermarkets. As the children journey from one predicament to another, three unlikely detectives from an agency known as The Ear, the Eye and the Arm attempt to rescue them. Narrator George Guidall does a brilliant job of conveying the complex natures of a wide range of characters. Without resorting to vocal stereotypes, he portrays military generals, adolescent girls, gang thugs, fey tutors, ancient spirit mediums and small boys with equal skill. Coached by the author herself, he has mastered the pronunciation of vocabulary from the Shona, Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans languages. With its blend of high-tech futurism and authentic African tribal folklore, Nancy Farmer's Newbery Honor Book (Orchard, 1994) is an exciting selection for recorded fiction. This story will challenge young adult readers?and listeners?to think about their own lives and futures.
Margaret Rigg Myhre, Cataldo Catholic School, Spokane, WA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. Even readers who don't like sf will be drawn to a hero who has a sense of humor about his serious mission. In Zimbabwe in the year 2194, the military ruler's 13-year-old son and his younger brother and sister leave their technologically overcontrolled home and find themselves on a series of perilous adventures. Tendai and his siblings encounter mile-high buildings and other miracles of scientific advance; they also find fetid slums and toxic waste dumps. As they're kidnapped by gangsters, forced to slave in a plastic mine, and accused of witchcraft, they're pursued by mutant detectives, who are both bumbling and sensitive and who always seem to be just one step behind rescuing the children. In the best section, the siblings find themselves in a traditional Shona village that at first seems idyllic but turns out to also encompass fierce sexism, ignorance, and disease. Throughout the story, it's the thrilling adventure that will grab readers, who will also like the comic, tender characterizations, not only of the brave, defiant trio and the absurd detectives, but also of nearly every one the kids meet, from street gangsters and spiritual healers to the English tribespeople with their weird customs. Tendai's spiritual coming-of-age is the least interesting part of the novel, but teens will like this teenager with "a hot line to the spirit world." Hazel Rochman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Someone was standing by his bed, a person completely unlike anyone Tendai had ever met. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great Jan. 5 2014
By moo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book was boring at first but then I was absorbed into it.
I need 7 more words so bye.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure Dec 4 2008
This is a wonderful children's story, woven with myths and legends from Africa. It is a tale of a secret walled garden, three special children, a man-child, a holy innocent who helps to guide them, and three detectives Ear, Arm and Eye who help to track the children down.

It is the story of becoming, and of belonging, and of finding your place and purpose in the world. Incredibly well-written, it will keep most non-readers glued to the pages.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm July 11 2004
When three children of a very important general run away from their machine-runned home in futuristic Zimbabwe, they are kidnapped by gang members, Knife and Fist. They are now at the mercy of the monstrous She Elephant, the leader of an underground world. The children, Tendai, Rita, and Kuda are made to mine for plastic, a now hard-to-come by material.

When the childrens father learn of their kidnap, he and his wife hire The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, three dectectives with a business of the same name. The Ear has great hearing abilities, the Eye can see from far away distances, and Arm has a strange pyschic power. Ideal detectives, right?

Join Tendai, Rita, and Kuda in this suspensful and sometimes comedic book. Nancy Farmer is by far my favorite sf/fantasy author(Along with J.K. Rowling, Susan Cooper, Tolkien, and Ursula K. LeGuin
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5.0 out of 5 stars the best book ive read June 3 2004
By casey
three kids traped in there house. never seen the world beyond there robot runed manchen, ecscape away from there high in power general dad, to see the world in there own eyes.
I think that this book shows corage, stupidedy, and how it is when you are suddenly in a whole differnt world of people. I would recomend this book to anyone and everyone. Nomader what age you are you will learn something new about life and its strugles in this book. You can read it over and over, and never want to put it down. I would put this book into my favoret book collection and i think that you should too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Arm Is Awesome May 23 2004
By Chalice
This is an excellent book I read a couple of weeks ago. It takes place in futuristic Zimbabwe. 3 kids of an important politician in the country decide to go on a field trip to explore the outside world and end up disappearing. Now it's up to the Ear, the Eye, and the Arm to track them down. But it won't be as easy as they thought. On their journey they'll encounter a woman the size of an elephant, people who still believe that evil monsters lurk in their forest, and a greedy woman who hosts a lot of tea parties. Not to mention the REAL bad guys...
This is an excellent read for HS or MS students. Although older people may like it too. It's very well-written. I especially love Nancy Farmer's bio in the back... She seems like quite a character. I checked this out from the library, but I'll probably buy it, I'd read it again.
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By Esteban
Hmmm... Now what can I say about this Nancy Farmer novel "The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm." Well, for starters, its a book. A science Fiction Book. Yep, nice summary there. But youre not here for the summary, you want my opinion. And if you dont, I dont care, just keep scrolling down.
Well, truth be told, reading is not my passion, and to go through a three hundred plus page book isnt my personal idea of fun, but this book wasnt half bad. So you've got your three rich children in the future who dont get out much, so they want to go to the city, alright, why not. But that wasn't why I decided to read it, how many times do you find a book set in the future thats not placed in New York City. I mean c'mon, seriously now you know its true. At least N.Farmer decided to put it in Zimbabwe, Africa in 2194. And how about those detectives, mutants, and not some guy in a trenchcoat. Sounds good already, doesn't it? But sadly, besides those points and a few others, this book follows the line of kids runaway, kids get kidnapped, kids miss mommy, daddy sends for help, hero saves the day. We're living in the future now for goodness sake, couldnt the kids at least have been abducted by aliens or something?
But don't think that it gets so much better after that. This book ran on, and on, and well, on. And I'm not just saying that because im too lazy to read an entire book or something along those lines. Read the book for yourself and youll see what I mean, the kids get so close to home, but darn, something just pops up out of nowhere and messes it up all over. Sure, you call them "super, duper, exciting twists and turns!", but alas, I can only take so much.
I must admit, there are the good details and ideas, a couple funny lines, and a talking monkey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff March 27 2004
By A Customer
I can't really understand why this didn't win the newbery medal. Do the people who give out the medal enjoy torchering Nancy Farmer by giving the medal to books that aren't as good? Thid book was great, yet walk two moons won, which was okay, and then a 2002 honer, The House of the Scorpian, which is even better than this lost to a single shard, which was also okay but not great like these two books. The book has its ups and its downs. It follows young children Tendai, Rita, and Kuda, three children of a general of Zimbabwe who are never really aloud to go anywhere. The steal out of the house and vanish. Their parents call in the strange detectives the ear, the eye, and the arm who are mutants to find the children, but the three kids stay one step out of their reach. The only complaint I have of this book is that it spend way too much time on the kids, who are pretty stupid and no matter how hard you try, you can never really like them. The ear the eye and the arm part of the story is far more interesting. These three characters are instantly likable and I wish the book spent more time on them. Kuda is one of the most annoying characters I have ever encountered in a book, but the futuristic parts of the story, and the storyline of these three detectives more than make up for the flaws. Be warned however that in the book about a hundred pages through the children will come to a place called resthaven which is like africa now, and is the most boring part of the book. You might get stuck on that part for a while. It's still a fantastic book which is the mark of a truly great author.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Why This Book Sucks Really Bad (I was forced to read it)
It's written in thrid person omniscient, an irritating style that refuses to pick a main character. The author also has a confusing writing style that consists of only catalouging... Read more
Published on April 13 2004 by Unimportant
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book of the Future
This book has everything in it; bad guys, spirits, the cool detectives, the places the main character goes, everything! Read more
Published on March 18 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Nancy Farmer: Sci-fi children's author extraordinaire
The best futuristic sci-fi tale for children set in Zimbabwe I've ever read. Which is unfair backhanded praise for a book that, in my opinion, should've been awarded the Newberry... Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2004 by E. R. Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars anonymus reviewer
She has woven into this book a story with unmatchable characters villains and creatures. It starts out in a boot camp like household in which a military-like father forces his... Read more
Published on Dec 14 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm
I liked this book because I like adventure and mystery. It had both. I couldn't stop reading. Every spare second I had, I read.
I loved it. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars read this book!
It paints a vivid picture of future Africa- most people think of Africa only as tribes, huts, and lions. I know I did before I read this. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by anonymous
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