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THE EAR, THE EYE AND THE ARM by Nancy Farmer

THE EAR, THE EYE AND THE ARM

By Nancy Farmer

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-531-06829-3
Publisher: Orchard

 An author who lived for years in Africa follows a comic, well-received first novel set in present-day Mozambique (Do You Know Me, 1993) with this marvelous odyssey across Zimbabwe 200 years in the future. Tendai, 13, his sister Rita, and their little brother Kuda escape their luxurious home to explore their perilous city; Tendai's immediate aim is earning a scouting badge, but his need to prove himself--as his protective father, Chief of Security Masika, hasn't allowed him to do--is also compelling. Exploring seamy ``Cow's Guts,'' these innocents are snapped up by the vast ``She Elephant'' who presides over the mines in Dead Man's Vlei, where society's dregs scavenge toxic waste for now-rare plastics. Escaping, they find their way to the walled enclave of Resthaven, where traditional tribal ways are preserved, bad with good (``You can't yank out part of the pattern and not damage the rest''); and then to a treacherous old Englishwoman. Meanwhile, the three are tracked by three eponymous detectives, whose folkloric talents are ascribed to the effects of a toxic environment. Weaving African tribal language and lore (notes and glossary appended) into a rich tapestry featuring a witty projection of the future, a score of vividly realized characters, and a nonstop adventure culminating in a denouement that's at once taut, comic, and touching, Farmer has created a splendidly imaginative fantasy, just right to pair with Lowry's darker vision of control and freedom (The Giver, 1993). (Fiction. 10+)