Science Fiction Sallie Lowenstein Focus

ISBN 13: 9780965848633

Focus

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9780965848633: Focus

Andrew Haldran decides not to follow the traditional pattern of being genetically augmented which forces his father to take a job on another world to earn enough money to support his son's decision.

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From School Library Journal:

Gr 6-9-In an undated future, teens on Earth choose their field of "Augmentation" by the time they are 17. Augmentation genetically focuses teens' abilities for their chosen occupation while allowing other skills to wither. Andrew, 15, wants to remain a generalist. Supporting his daring decision, his father, a diplomat, takes a lucrative job with a private company on the planet Miners World. Humans go there to mine the population's knowledge of "the highest forms of technology yet discovered." However, when the family arrives, they observe that the humans cannot work together, and that the two variants of aliens seem completely unrelated. The newcomer meets Tomas Chalder, a beetlelike creature who supports the human population by guiding their interface with the planet, and realizes that Chalder was once a human and has changed in some way. The youth works to unravel the mystery and observes that the unrelated alien species are in fact symbiotic. The novel reads quickly and is often exciting. However, the many stories that the teen composes for his sisters divert attention from the main action. Also, while the simplistic and didactic plot builds to an interesting climax, the ending is anticlimactic as the family returns to Earth where Andrew will reconsider the Augmentation issue now that he understands better what he might gain and lose as a creative person. This novel offers possibilities, but is not likely to find wide readership.

Dorcas Hand, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 5-9. Precocious Andrew Haldran is far too creative to be Augmented--that is, to undergo his futuristic community's right of passage for adolescents. As a U-A (Unaugmented), however, Andrew would need to accept a much lower station in society. In support of their son's decision to remain U-A, the Haldrans teleport to another planet, Miners World. Mr. Haldran joins a small group of Miners (humans) who try to discover the secrets of the planet's strange forms of indigenous life--mysterious roaming Natives and Water People. The family befriends Tomas, who though shunned and hated by most of the Miners, is able to protect the Haldrans and lead them to both enlightenment and safety. A philosophic sf tale with strong characterizations, interesting albeit somewhat plodding action, and an abundance of nicely executed, pale gray wash illustrations. Anne O'Malley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Sallie Lowenstein
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