The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm Hardcover – Mar 1 2004
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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.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
The book was boring at first but then I was absorbed into it.
I need 7 more words so bye.
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 morePublished on Dec 4 2008 by Steven R. McEvoy
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 morePublished on July 11 2004 by R, your friendly neighborhood reviewer
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 morePublished on June 3 2004 by casey
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 morePublished on May 23 2004 by Chalice
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 morePublished on April 13 2004 by Unimportant
This book has everything in it; bad guys, spirits, the cool detectives, the places the main character goes, everything! Read morePublished on March 17 2004
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 morePublished on Dec 14 2003
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