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The Drowned Cities

By: Paolo Bacigalupi

When soldiers destroy their town, Mahlia must make a decision—risk everything to rescue Mouse, the boy who once saved her, or flee on her own to safety.
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ISBN: 9780316056243

JLG Release: Jul 2012


Series: Ship Breaker
Sensitive Areas: Language: Mild Language, Discrimination: Reference/Discussion, Violence: Mild Violence, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse
Topics: War , Soldiers , Survival , Orphans , Conduct of Life , Genetic engineering , Science fiction

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Awards & Honors

Booklist Top 10 SF/Fantasy Books for Youth: 2012; Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books of 2012; VOYAs Perfect Tens 2102; 2012 L. A. Times Book Prize Finalist, Young Adult Literature; 2012 Cybils Award Finalist, Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction; Los Angeles Public Library Best of 2012 Teen Books; YALSA 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

This is a companion book to the author’s Ship Breaker (Little, Brown, 2010). Tool, a ferocious bioengineered weapon of war that is part animal, part man, and built to kill, finds himself without a general and thinking for himself in this engrossing postapocalyptic novel. He begrudgingly becomes entwined in the lives of two orphan refug This is a companion book to the author’s Ship Breaker (Little, Brown, 2010). Tool, a ferocious bioengineered weapon of war that is part animal, part man, and built to kill, finds himself without a general and thinking for himself in this engrossing postapocalyptic novel. He begrudgingly becomes entwined in the lives of two orphan refugees, or war maggots, Mahlia and Mouse, and the pacifist Doctor Mahfouz, their guardian. Climate change has flooded the cities of America and made resources scarce. There is no centralized government, only factions fighting against one another for control of what is left. Chinese peacekeepers, including Mahlia’s father, have long since abandoned the country, leaving behind their children, the castoffs hated by all sides, to suffer unimaginable horrors. All the while, the people of the Drowned Cities try to go about life as quietly as possible, to escape the notice of whatever army is in charge. The United Patriot Front is fighting the Army of God for control of Banyan Town, with the Freedom Militia not far off. UPF soldiers have burned Banyan Town to take what they need from its people and leave them with nothing. What happens to civilians is of no consequence. War is everything. The bloody adventures of Tool, Mahlia, Mouse, and Doctor Mahfouz peel back the layers of war and expose its amoral underbelly, revealing that the armies fighting with such brutal callousness are made up entirely of children. A compelling read, this engaging book does not glorify war and violence, but shows its true nature.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
Bacigalupi expands the dystopian future America of his Printz Award–winning Ship Breaker (rev. 7/10) in this companion novel about the further exploits of the half-man Tool. The setting has moved north along the East Coast to the Drowned Cities (a.k.a. the remnants of Washington DC), a bleaker flooded landscape
[STARRED REVIEW]
Bacigalupi expands the dystopian future America of his Printz Award–winning Ship Breaker (rev. 7/10) in this companion novel about the further exploits of the half-man Tool. The setting has moved north along the East Coast to the Drowned Cities (a.k.a. the remnants of Washington DC), a bleaker flooded landscape than Ship Breaker’s Orleans—a place where “city and jungle bled into one.” The isolated, ruined region is a battleground for warring political and religious factions, with fighting spreading out to the suburbs where two refugee “war maggot” friends, Mahlia and Mouse, live with a local doctor. Both children are victims of war, having lost their parents and homes during the futile fighting; Mahlia has also lost her right hand. When the children find Tool almost dead in the jungle, a violent group of armed child soldiers are hunting the half-man. After the soldiers capture and recruit Mouse by force, Mahlia and Tool risk their lives journeying into the Drowned Cities to rescue him. Bacigalupi uses multiple alternating narrative voices to present distinct perspectives in brutal yet poetic language that vividly depicts a harrowing world of violence, destruction, and ruthless cruelty. Characters continually reassess abstract concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, freedom, and equality, creating an overarching commentary on the negative consequences of world politics and war. Bacigalupi’s intense, action-filled novel is a heartbreaking and powerfully moving portrait of individual resiliency amidst extreme circumstances that rivals, if not surpasses, the excellence of its predecessor.

Book Details

ISBN

9780316056243

First Release

July 2012

Genre

Dewey Classification

Fic

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

448

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.6; Points: 13;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.3; Points: 22;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Little, Brown

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Mild Language, Discrimination: Reference/Discussion, Violence: Mild Violence, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse

Topics

War, Soldiers, Survival, Orphans, Conduct of Life, Genetic engineering, Science fiction,

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