August 2005

Science fantasy

By Ann Halam
Review by
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The word Siberia conjures up images of hardship and grueling labor in snowy wastelands. Rosita and her mother are banished to such a place in Ann Halam’s Siberia, her third science fiction novel for young adults. Once a scientist, Rosita’s mother now makes nails from scrap metal and tries to keep her daughter alive in a challenging environment. Both mother and daughter share a secret in their treasure box of seeds: these are seeds not of plants, but of animals, a cache of species that are endangered or extinct. In this repressive society, Rosita finds that even small mistakes can be dangerous; her mother disappears and she is sent away to a prison school. Toughened by life, Rosita sets out on a journey to reach sanctuary, not just for her own sake, but also to save her mother’s treasure. This compelling story is science fiction but has the atmosphere of a fairy tale, which makes it attractive to fans of either genre. Colleen Cahill is Recommending Officer of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the Library of Congress.

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By Ann Halam
Wendy Lamb
ISBN 9780385746502

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