Clone Codes by Patricia and John McKissack

Author: McKissack, Patricia and John McKissack
Title: Clone Codes
Publisher: Scholastic
Copyright Date: 2010
ISBN: 9780439929837
Format: Fiction novel,
Rating: Average
Grades: 5-8
Curriculum Framework: History and Social Sciences
Genre: Sci-fi


Leanna is fresh from a virtual field trip, escaping slavery via the underground railroad with Harriet Tubman, when their home security system is breached and her mom is arrested for treason. Slowly the truth comes out: her mom is part of the Liberty Bell Movement, an organization devoted to freedom and liberty for all. “All” currently includes clones, and Leanna, like everyone else in the world, knows that clones aren’t human, so why do they deserve freedom? Leanna is quickly whisked away to safety, but there’s a bounty on her head, and some new information will change everything she knows and understands about her world, her mom, and herself.

Lots of action won’t make up for the expository lectures about the history of slavery and emancipation, and the Big Reveal of Leanna’s family connection to cloning is heavily foreshadowed from the beginning. It’s a rare reader who will stick with this didactic novel to the unsatisfying conclusion to this first book of a planned trilogy. Time-travel sci-fi stories can bring history to life; the preaching here is more likely to turn readers off further exploration.

Reviewer’s Name: Brandy Danner
E-mail Address:
Library/City Wilmington Memorial Library
Date of Review: 1/22/11

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