by Pat Schmatz
Candlewick Press, 2015
Young adult, science fiction,
Ages 14 and up
Additional formats: ebook
James Tiptree, Jr. Award winner * Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year * TriState YA Review Group Books of Note * CCBC Choices * Rainbow Project List
In a world where the government closely monitors gender, occupation, and emotion, Lizard (so named because she was found as a baby wearing a t-shirt with a lizard on the front) finds herself at a frightening summer agricultural camp. Kivali (that’s her true name) is a bender—meaning that she doesn’t identify as a girl or a boy—and she’s sent to a summer camp for teens in order to prepare for the adult world.
But is the camp, run by Miss Mischetti, really a place to help teens find themselves and help the world? Or is something more sinister at hand? What should Kivali make of the drugs that the campers are given and the strange, vaporizing disappearances? Kivali has to discover the truth behind her origins and why her anti-authority aunt has sent her away.
Pat Schmatz does some solid world-building here, complete with it’s own vocabulary that sci-fi readers will love.