Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Ear, The Eye and The Arm

A fantasy novel set in 2194 Zimbabwe? How did Nancy Farmer know what I wanted to read before I did? The title The Ear, The Eye and the Arm had intrigued me for awhile, but it wasn't until my Thailand vacation that I got to enjoy this novel.

The children of General Matsika live a privileged life, but crave experiences outside of their robotic compound. When the opportunity presents itself, Tendai, Ruth, and Kuda set out for an adventure. Multiple kidnappings and interactions with nefarious characters teach that every adventure has its price.

I love the premise of the novel, which takes its name from three supernaturally gifted detectives who set out to find the children. Farmer blends her knowledge of Africa (phrases, customs, tribes) with futuristic elements like a mile high building and plastic only existing in museums. None of these elements is overwhelming; rather, it will hook fans of historical fiction, mysteries, and fantasy into reading something they may not have tried on their own. No classroom library should be without it.


  1. This didn't do much for me, and it's not been circulating, but maybe with all of the new dystopian books I can get a student to check it out.

  2. It has a terrible cover, for sure...I think it is hard to grab students based on looks!


What say you?