Saturday, July 10, 2010
Eva - Peter Dickinson
Dystopian novels are pretty big right now. Hunger Games, ...., the list goes on. I don't really want to dwell on the reasons why. But I do understand the attraction, the gut wrenching understanding that the terrible future imagined just might be possible. Reading a really good story about a bad future makes me look around at the here and now and see what is still good and worth keeping.
Many of these stories are really dark, but, for some reason, I don't seem to remember them well. Maybe I've become jaded or I'm reading too fast. But one has stuck in my mind for years. I think I first read EVA more than 30 years ago and it still haunts me. I read it again a while ago and it does feel dated, but the concept is so strong I didn't mind.
What if the world were in really bad shape and a girl had her brain implanted in a chimpanzee? What if she was torn between two species? What if she could teach the chimps? What if they could start over? These are really BIG questions with lots of repercussions.
EVA won the Phoenix award in 2008 which means there are lots of others who feel it is a great book that did not get enough attention. It was used for years by schools and it is being dropped now, but I hope it is not forgotten. This is the sort of book that makes us think.
Teacher Notes: This does have some references to sex, so be prepared.
Eva by Peter Dickinson
Laurel Leaf; First Thus edition (October 1, 1990)