A Crack in the Sky

Mark Peter Hughes, Delacorte, $16.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-385-73708-1
Hughes’s grim tale is set on a largely depopulated Earth devastated by global warming. Thirteen-year-old Eli Papadopoulos lives in the domed city of Providence, a supposed consumerist utopia. His family, which founded InfiniCorp (motto: “Don’t worry! InfiniCorp is taking care of everything!”), runs many such havens, and Eli has long accepted the official line that the world is cooling down and returning to normal. Temperatures continue to rise, however, and the dome’s virtual reality environment is malfunctioning. Eli is soon contacted by “Foggers,” environmental activists who oppose InfiniCorp’s policies; when he begins to doubt everything he’s been raised to believe, he is sent to a remote re-education facility. Although Eli escapes, this first volume in the Greenhouse Chronicles leaves his fate to future installments. Hughes (Lemonade Mouth) is an earnest writer, and while his story doesn’t lack action, Eli’s Matrix-style awakening (“What if you disentangled the truth only to discover that your whole life has been a sham?” he’s asked) and the heavy-handed portrayal of his complacent society make it feel preachy. An appendix and reading list on global warming are included. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 244 pages - 978-0-375-89670-5
Library Binding - 405 pages - 978-0-385-90645-6
Paperback - 405 pages - 978-0-385-73709-8
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