Monday, September 04, 2006

Chapter Books - Double Identity

Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix 2005

From time to time I run across a book that is a bit like something else I have already read, but I don’t believe I have read anything similar to this intriguing plot-twisting story. Of course, I don’t read a lot of science fiction either. Previously, I have read one of Haddix’s early books titled Running Out of Time and found it also unique. I think now there may be another book or two with similar storylines to Running Out of Time, but in the adult book section. Haddix’s writes Double Identity as if it were a bit in the future, but not to far out there. It really never gives a date other than it is past 2006. Haddix’s tackles the very controversial subject of cloning and clearly puts it to the test.

Bethany is not the typical nearly thirteen year-old she would really like to be. Her parents border on the smothering side and try to keep her secluded from the outside world. Other than going to school and swimming, Bethany spends all her time with one or both of her parents. It isn’t until a sudden and suspicious ride across several states to a relative she didn’t know existed that she is really begins to question her life with her parents. When her father leaves her standing on the front porch of her Aunt Myrlie’s the only thing she knows is that there is someone named “Elizabeth” she doesn’t know about. When she tries to contact her father she finds his cell and home telephone numbers have been disconnected. Haddix then begins the tales intriguing events that begin to unfold a life for Bethany that she didn’t know existed. Who really are her parents and why do people seem shocked and somewhat horrified when they see her? The suspense and characters do not cross the line where the book would keep one up at night, but it does keep your attention.

Haddix combines a preteen attitude along side the pains of growing up with a dose of current news controversy, but in an intrigue package. This is a book I think grades 5 and up would enjoy. Some libraries classify it as a science fiction, but I really wouldn’t as the topic is only discussed in terms of ethics and how one would feel about cloning. Plus, the timing may be in the future, but the setting and topic really are very current. The book never gets into the science of anything and deals primarily with emotions and ends with a media circus that would probably occur if someone was actually cloned. Definitely a Turn the Page book.


Blogger Kelly said...

Wow, sounds great, PJ!

8:34 PM  

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