Lizard Radio

by Pat Schmatz

In a future time when government control requires gender identity determination at... read more

In a future time when government control requires gender identity determination at an early age, Kivali is one who struggles to escape the narrow definitions. Her hormone levels put her right at the designated space between male and female; although she could take “T” to boost her male attributes, she chooses not to. Her outward appearance is that of a traditional girl, but she doesn’t feel like anything but herself. Now she’s been sent to Crop Camp against her will, where success means a chance at a safe life, and failure means relocation to the Blight, an unsanctioned area for societal castoffs. Kivali forms a bond with (and a crush on) her tent-mate Sully, and in collaboration with a few other like-minded campers, they risk their futures and maybe even their lives to challenge Machete, the disingenuous Camp director, and the Crop Camp system. Kivali’s world of gender definition, treachery, love, loyalty—and perhaps even aliens—is gradually unveiled through context and word clues, requiring readers to fill in the details of the setting incrementally while the plot unfolds, and rewarding them with a richly imagined and complex speculative future. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

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