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Her family gone missing, Maggie (AKA: Ford Falcon!) is on a quest to rescue them. Armed with a SpitStick, a ToothClub, an attack rooster named Hatchet, and the poems of Emily Dickinson, Maggie battles GreyDevils, Solar Bears, a pair of creepy goofball bad guys, and crazy corn that grows so fast it crackles. In the end, she turns to the truest weapons she possesses: her very own muscles, ingenuity, and razor-tongue wit.
The Scavengers is a wholly original tween novel that combines an action-packed adventure, a heartfelt family story, and a triumphant journey of self-discovery. It achieves the perfect balance of humor and heart in a world where one person’s junk is another person’s key to survival.
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I’m an adult—will this book hold my interest?
“Gifted and gritty, Ford Falcon is a heroine with heart. She grabs you by both arms and hauls you into her world-a haunting futurescape where you have to be inventive to survive, where every decision has a price. Michael Perry’s writing is exquisite, humorous and thrilling.” — Leslie Connor, author of Waiting for Normal.
“Michael Perry pulls out all the stops in this colorful tale, complete with zombie-like GreyDevils, a demented rooster-cum-secret weapon named Hatchet, and the occasional spoonerism. You gotta love Ford Falcon, an intrepid heroine who can pepper-bomb a solar bear while quoting Emily Dickinson. As her friend Toad might say: Le-dightful.”-Katherine Applegate, New York Times bestselling author of the Newbery Medal book The One & Only Ivan.
Teen Ford Falcon (nee Maggie) headlines a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic Laura Ingalls Wilder wilderness story, complete with morning chores and Ma’s dreams of a cabin with windows.
At “that age where I’m not sure who I am,” Maggie is haunted by memories of a previous life. Now, after the ravages of wild weather fluctuations and the “Patriotic Partnering” of agro-giant CornVivia with the government, many have chosen to live safely sequestered in cities UnderBubble—but Maggie and her family fled to the wilds of OutBubble. Outside the protective domes, Maggie and her family stay “busy scavenging, scrounging, and surviving”; neighbor Toad (speaking in pig Latin and Spoonerisms) helps out. Zombie-like GreyDevils (juiced up on the homemade hootch known as PartsWash) lurk in the woods, desperate for stray grains of CornVivia’s potent, genetically modified URCorn—and there’s evil in that there corn….Perry creates an engaging contrast between this hardscrabble world and Ma’s desperation to maintain standards of civilization; Emily Dickinson and Earl Grey tea enjoy central roles in the tense mother-daughter relationship. With plenty of contemporary issues wrapped around a good story, this new take on familiar post-apocalyptic imagery with a science-gone-awry theme should make fertile ground for book-club discussions and teen-survivalist daydreams. Sufficient unanswered questions exist to fuel a sequel, but there’s no cliffhanger—Perry provides a satisfying closing for his restless heroine.
Comparisons to other gritty, engaging tough-girl-with-a-strong-
Michael Perry is known for his stellar rural adult nonfiction, such as “Population: 485,” and “Truck: A Love Story.” A Wisconsin farm now becomes the beautifully evoked setting of the Dystopian tale of 12-year-old Ford Falcon (real name: Maggie). She takes her new name from the abandoned car she sleeps in, and supports its menace with homemade weapons and training in combat from the old farmer next door (and his high-strung rooster).
As the book opens, Maggie is just a part of a community that’s making a hardscrabble go of it in tough times. But then her father disappears, and she learns that her family is at the center of the plot that created the current corrupt government, which doses people with a substance that addicts them to the genetically engineered food that they must eat to survive.
Perry’s tough and tender story rings true to kids’ experiences of an adult world that sometimes betrays the young. – Ann Klefstad , Special to the Star Tribune