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on November 26, 2001
It all started out when General Matsika, the General of futuristic Zimbabwe's three children, Tendai, Rita, and Kuda went on what was supposed to be a thrilling adventure. The problem was that they had never crossed the boundries of their house. When they get to the Mbare Musika (the Market) they Meet a genetically engineered monkey and are taken into the evil custody of the She Elephant. The She Elephant plans to sell the three to a terrifying gang called the Masks. Read the rest of this intriguing story of three children trying to get back to their safe home.
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on November 26, 2001
When Tendai,Kuda, and Rita are kidnapped the Matsikas hire the most unusual detectives in the world. The Mellower thought of the idea and he regreted it. But, why? The children are tossed around constantly in this book. Will they track down the children? Who is after the children and why? This science fiction book will catch your attention, if you like science fiction.
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on November 26, 2001
The rich Matsika kids are bored to death while livig in a household of robots and praise. Soon they set out to get a badge for a scout group. Then they are captured and put to work in a plastic mine. Soon they are sold to the most dangerous people in Africa. Who are those people?
Remember, never look behind a mask!
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on April 13, 2004
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 action; it lacks necessary description so that the reader is left caught up in a confusing swirl of action. Because of the omnisceint style, the passage of time changes with the character view. It is unrealistic: there is an isolated "country" dedicated to the preservation of tribal ways. It is made of concrete with simulated suns (we have to assume because the author certainly isn't going to tell is how the sun penetrates four feet of concrete), wind, water, etc.; people don't become weak from lack of oxygen when they are on top of the mile-high physically impossible hotel, which means 5280 feet plus whatever the natural elevation of the land which is very high because Africa has the highest overall elevation of any continent; I could go on all day about the inconsistencies in the book, but I only have 1000 words. The whole entire book IS SO FREAKING CLICHE IT MAKES ME SICK!!!! Take the "main" charater, a boy who's 13 named Tendai. He is on a constant inner quest for honor and courage through the entire book while he is searching for 'manhood.' Which brings me to another point: the ancestors keep messing around in the book and they will not be consistent and will not stop talking and it's so freaking annoying. I'm not racist against anybody who adheres to the beliefs of tribal africans, but if one of them is reading this, tell the spirits of the dead corpses to please speak with a consistent voice in this horrible book (are they going to be high and mighty and all "There is much courage in your soul. You will be a great warrior." or are they going to be all "...are you stalling for time here?" Please tell them to make up their rotting minds because it's driving me insane. The whole mood of the book is inconsistent as well. The first roughly two-thirds of the book are just a little bit too violent for the average six-year-old, who probably couldn't read this book anyway, but the last roughly third changes very suddenly. There is an English lady who's an alchoholic who also mentions heroin in a conversation which is something children's books just don't do, and terrorist attacks, and the whole book ends up in a spiritual battle where the tribal god-but-not who speaks the lingo of today ends up fighting a veritable demon. It's as if the author wrote most of the book, and got bored with it, then watched a bunch of horror movies and movies like Traffic and then wrote the rest of the book. And the editor who must have been blind so he couldn't read the book, without the sense of touch so he could braille-read the book, and deaf so he couldn't have the book read to him, didn't catch her on that and say something to the effect of "Did two different people write this book?" Because that's sure what it feels like to me. One last point: I already knew what would happen to the characters in the end, not exactly, but in a sense. The wise-beyond-his-thirteen-years kid would get a chance to proove his bravery to his stupid loud-mouth ancestors; the bratty sister would learn to be unselfish and wouldn't shy away from work anymore; the bratty little brother who bythe way was described as being brilliant beyond his six years and yet acted like a three year old, would gain a level of maturity and become unselfish too (this was the only one I wasn't completely right on: he was still mostly a brat at the end of the book); the paranoid, over-protective father would learn something to the effect of kids cannot grow up without freedom and/or you cannot shelter people from the evils of this world and it's better not to try to; the mother who was never there would have some sort of maudlin 'I ignored my children!' sort of thing and be a better mother in the end. There's the ending, which you can figure out within the first two chapters. By the way, mother who's a sophiticated lady who's never had to work a day in her life except for book work, ends up a carrying around the equivalent of a bazooka gun, operating it perfectly, and using brilliant fighting strategy. hmmm.....
If this book was cheese, it would be swiss. There are parts of it that are stomachable, but that I don't really like because that's my personal opinion. But on the whole, this book is so full of gaping, unforgiving gaps and inconsistencies and unrealities since it is supposed to be plausible, that it's basically worthless.
Don't read this book unless you want to read an example of bad literature. I haven't read Farmer's other stuff, so I won't bash her (whoops. already did) but I will bash this book until it is dissolved into quintillions of little pieces, and then have those pieces burned and then feed the ashes to a roach and kill the roach.
By the way, I was forced to read this book in my "Advanced" 9th grade literature class this year. Funny, I thought the Newberry award was somthing given to children's books. Hmmm... Well teacher did mention mostly to herself that this book was on a seventh grade level. I think that's an overestimation. Thank you very much public school system for not giving the already education-deprived students more than their under-developed brains can handle. May I suggest a different author? In my humble opinion, I think Dickens or T.H. White is a much better choice than Nancy Farmer.
For anybody who's read this far, why? Go do something more worthwhile than listen to me rant about a stupid book.
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on October 12, 1999
I see people giving The Ear the Eye and the Arm 5 stars. Well maybe your just doing it so it dosent look like a waste that you bought it, even though you know it was. The book is terrible. Little kids do not even enjoy it. Nancy Farmer needs to work on her skills.
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