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The Ear, the Eye & the Arm [Audio Cassette]

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

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Book Description

December 1997
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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details


Product Description

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By Esteban
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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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Format:Paperback
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 Award without question. Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm at a party and a savvy Hollywood producer comes up to me and asks for the number one children's book that should be optioned for a movie. Batta bing, I recommend this book. In it, you have a well-developed plot containing characters of amazing depth. No two-dimensional stick figures for this children's novel. The setting is more than unique. It is unparalleled. Farmer's ingenuity has created a book that speaks volumes. Not only is it an enjoyable edge-of-your-seat mystery, but there's a distinctly moral core to the book. It's the rare story that can make a person actually enjoy a section on (believe it or not) "courage". If your children can read, give them this book. If your children cannot read, give them this book anyway and teach them to do so with it. There is no higher praise I can give.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic June 15 2003
By Marla
Format:Paperback
Tendai, Rita and Kuda live in the year 2194, where everything in their home depends on technology. Tendai is a scout and wants to earn his last badge. In order to do so he must travel across the large city of Harare, Zimbabwe. Rita and Kuda talk him into taking them with him. As they leave their safe environment, they determine not everyone can be trusted. They are soon kidnapped. Tendai realizes that this is only the beginning of a long journey, which he hopes will take them back home.
General Masika and his wife are distraut because the Mellower has tricked them into giving their children permission to leave their safe home. They are afraid that the Mask will get the children and hold them for ransom. Mrs. Masika hires the Ear, Eye and Arm detectives to find the children. As the detectives search they are always one step behind the children.
The detectives reveal to the Masikas that the children were kidnapped and escape. Then they become kidnapped again. By who? I'll not tell. If you want to know what happens next read the book.
If you like sci-fi books, you will love The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm. The title alone is what intrigued me to choose this book to read for a college course. The author does an excellent job of creating a plot that keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you know what's going to happen, IT DOESN'T. The setting is always changing and the plot is ongoing. I just love the characters from Kudo, the little brother to the waiter in the Mile High Restaurant. This story is full of emotions from sorrow to anger and excitement. I would definitely recommend this book to young adults that enjoy sci-fi, action books.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
The book was boring at first but then I was absorbed into it.
I need 7 more words so bye.
Published 8 months ago by moo
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure
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... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2008 by Steven R. McEvoy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm
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. Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by R, your friendly neighborhood reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book ive read
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. Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by casey
5.0 out of 5 stars The Arm Is Awesome
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... Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by Chalice
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 17 2004
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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