Horn Book Guide Reviews

In this follow-up to The Clone Codes, teen "cyborg kid" Houston Ye and his allies, including "illegal" clone Leanna, revolt against their oppressive society. Social-reform-minded readers will be gratified to recognize that some of their actions echo the U.S. civil rights movement. Houston and Leanna continue to be compelling, sympathetic characters surrounded by action-packed events. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

The second book of the Clone Codes (Clone Codes, 2010) focuses on Houston Ye, the teen cyborg who helped the clone Leanna escape the government forces seeking her in fulfillment of its policy of discrimination against any deemed not completely human. Houston's life was saved by technology, but his nonhuman status resulted in abandonment by his family. Now he finds himself on a hijacked spaceship with Leanna and a boy genius heading for the Moon to look for the protection of his guardian, another cyborg, who had been a friend of his father. The Moon, away from the attention of the Federation, has become a place where Firsts (fully human), cyborgs and clones can get along. The Federation decides to clamp down further on cyborgs, triggering a wave of protests modeled on the Civil Rights movement. The McKissacks continue to successfully draw parallels between a futuristic world that tries to control those considered different and historic racial struggles. The characters are drawn without much complexity, but the worldbuilding is intriguing, there is plenty of action and ethnic diversity in a science-fiction tale is welcome. (Science fiction. 12 & up)


Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Media Connection

In this second entry in the Clone Codes series the main character becomes a cyborg after a boating accident, but there really is very little plot. The novel reads like a story outline that never got fleshed out; it skips around and the reader never really gets to know the characters. Way too much telling, not enough showing. Even though middle grades science fiction is hard to find, look elsewhere. Robin Henry, Library Media Specialist, Wakeland High School, Frisco, Texas. NOT RECOMMENDED ¬ 2011 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–7—It is the year 2171, and scientists have learned to clone human beings and replace body parts, but at a price. Houston Ye is on a boat with his mother when he has an accident. Doctors are able to save his life, but they have to replace his eye, arm, leg, and heart with biofe parts. He is now a cyborg in a world where cyborgs are discriminated against and treated as second-class citizens. He and his friends Leanna (the clone from the first novel) and Carlos stand up to the cyborg community, which is trying to use violent protests against the passing of the Wholer Act. They use examples of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to convince the cyborgs to use nonviolent protests to change the laws. This sci-fi adventure is mixed with historical comparisons with Ernest Shackleton's crew and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. It's a fast-paced book, sometimes too much so. There is little character development, and the plot takes sudden jumps that makes it difficult to follow. The novel includes background information on the laws dealing with clones and cyborgs, a brief history of the events that led up to this time, as well as a "yesterday and tomorrow" section that compares the events in the story to historical events. Additional.—Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY

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Voice of Youth Advocates Reviews

Houston Ye became a cyborg after a boating accident left him with several mechanical parts. Alienated from his family and friends, Houston created a new family amongst the other cyborgs on the Moon. Leanna, who has been trying to take on the political establishment as a member of the Library Bell Movement (a group who is trying to regain the freedoms of all members of society),becomes Houston's friend. This friendship soon draws Houston into the controversy when the laws governing cyborgs become even more restrictive, and Houston and his friends must combat extreme oppression while on the run from the law As with the first book in this series, The Clone Codes (Scholastic Press, 2010), one expects much from the talented McKissacks, but once again this title falls flat. A unique premise with vivid connections to important historical events gives this work a lot of potential; however, the result is didactic and lackluster. Houston is an intriguing character who faces real stress with his family relationships and in finding his own identity. Despite this, the setting is undefined and the use of made-up words is just distracting. While connecting the futuristic events of the novel to the civil rights movement is laudable, the execution lacks the context and power to make history come to life. While the authors' names alone will make this a solid acquisition, its poor quality will not bring in many fans.—Rachel Wadham 2Q 3P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.