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NOMANSLAND by Lesley Hauge


by Lesley Hauge

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: July 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9064-2
Publisher: Henry Holt

Long after the destruction of society, a tribe of Amazons lives an ascetic life. Along with the other young women of her community, Keller longs to become a Tracker, guarding the borders from mutant, deviant men. She doesn’t want to be dragged into political machinations: not those of her secret-keeping teachers; nor those of the ruling Committee who decide when the girls will be impregnated; nor those of the other Novice Trackers’ prohibited cliques. The most popular of the Novices, Laing, has discovered a cache of secrets and is reveling in its forbidden discoveries: press-on fingernails, names that end in i and y, makeup, social manipulation. Meanwhile, the all-powerful Committee Chair publicly flaunts a different taboo femininity, riding sidesaddle in Victorian garb. Oddly, the girls relate exclusively to glamorous 20th-/21st-century Western models, although the limited sources available to them also portray young girls, athletes and women in niqab. Nevertheless, secrets revealed make for a compelling emotional journey for Keller in this possible series opener, despite the incongruous obsession with 21st-century mores. (Dystopian science fiction. 11-13)