Tentacle and Wing

by Sarah Porter

Ada is a kime, short for chimera—a child with animal genes and traits. So far... read more

Ada is a kime, short for chimera—a child with animal genes and traits. So far kimes have only been born on Long Island, where a former conference and retreat center has been converted to a place kime children can grow up away from the general population, since they are generally feared and despised. Twelve-year-old Ada’s particular animal trait is exceptional eyesight—she sees far more of the spectrum than human eyes can. There is no obvious physical manifestation and her scientist father has helped keep her secret. Now mandatory genetic testing at school has given her away. Taken to the center, which is both refuge and prison, Ada is still reeling from what feels like her father’s betrayal—he didn’t fight against the authorities taking her—when she notices a strange blue light that no one else can see. It appears to be an intelligent being trying to communicate with her. As she investigates, she’s also navigating relationships among other kime children, whose various animal traits are sometimes astonishing, and who each bear the scars of society and family rejection differently. When the light leads Ada to a disturbing discovery, she doesn’t know whom among them she can trust. Ada’s constant state of uncertainty makes for a tense and satisfying story exploring ethics, prejudice, social justice, and survival of humanity and Earth itself. (Ages 9-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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