LIZARD RADIO by Pat Schmatz
Kirkus Star

LIZARD RADIO

Age Range: 14 - 18
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a dystopian future, Kivali Kerwin, nicknamed Lizard, is sent to prepare for adulthood at a government-run CropCamp.

Lizard's adoptive family has always resisted authority, but attending camp as a teen makes it easier to avoid being sent to the prisonlike Blight as an adult. As a midrange bender—roughly equivalent, in today's terms, to having a nonbinary gender—Lizard is at risk of being sent to Blight. At camp, Lizard unexpectedly forms deep connections to other campers. At the same time, Lizard increasingly suspects something sinister behind the camp's strong community spirit and the seemingly kind mentorship of director Ms. Mischetti. The world here is revealed gradually. The poetic, evocative prose is littered with unfamiliar neologisms—“skizzer,” “Mealio,” “vape”—with the expectation that readers will either pick up their meanings from context or be willing to wonder. Some words prove more useful than contemporary vocabulary: when Lizard develops a crush on a female camper, the word “jazz”—denoting everything from flirtation to sexual acts—provides a simple but startlingly effective way to talk about sexuality and attraction. Mischetti's warm leadership and disarming tendency to acknowledge disturbing rumors make her a dangerous enemy and mean Lizard's mission is more complicated than simply uncovering the truth.

Sophisticated, character-driven science fiction, as notable for its genderqueer protagonist as for its intricate, suspenseful plot. (Science fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-7636-7635-3
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2015




BEST TEEN BOOKS OF 2015 WITH VOICES THAT'LL HAUNT YOU:

ChildrenMARTIANS by Blythe Woolston
by Blythe Woolston
ChildrenSHADOWSHAPER by Daniel José Older
by Daniel José Older
ChildrenTHE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
by Moira Fowley-Doyle
ChildrenA THOUSAND NIGHTS by E.K. Johnston
by E.K. Johnston

MORE BY PAT SCHMATZ

ChildrenBLUEFISH by Pat Schmatz
by Pat Schmatz
ChildrenMOUSETRAPS by Pat Schmatz
by Pat Schmatz
ChildrenCIRCLE THE TRUTH by Pat Schmatz
by Pat Schmatz

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSHIP BREAKER by Paolo Bacigalupi
by Paolo Bacigalupi
ChildrenWHEN WE WAKE by Karen Healey
by Karen Healey
ChildrenTHE SEAFARER'S KISS by Julia Ember
by Julia Ember