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Friday, July 5, 2013

Dolly the Sheep Born: Books About Cloning

On this day in 1996, Dolly the Sheep was born. Dolly was the first mammal to be successfully cloned. To mark the day, we're looking about books about cloning.

    

Beta by Rachel Cohn. Elysia is a clone, and a worker on the idyllic island of Demesne, a place designed to be perfect for Earth's richest and most privileged. But despite it's perfection, the people still yearn, and the worker-clones aren't happy. Also, something has gone wrong with the cloning system, because Elysia has feelings, something clones aren't supposed to have.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Kathy attends an exlusive boarding school where the students are constantly told how special they are, and kept isolated from the rest of the world. As an adult, Kathy is once again visiting her friends from school and trying to make sense of their school days. The fact that it's on this list is a MASSIVE SPOILER.

The Originals by Cat Patrick. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey look like identical triplets, but they're actually clones. In order to hide from the government, they take turns going to school and hanging out with friends, living 1 life as Elizabeth, but then they realize that they have thoughts and feelings separate of each other.

    

The Clone Codes by Patricia C. McKissack, Frederick McKissack, and John McKissack. When her mother is arrested for treason, Leanna discovers her mother is a member of the Liberty Bell Movement-- an organization modeled the Underground Railroad and working to help cyborgs and clones. Even more shocking is the discovery that Leanna is not a First, but rather a clone! The first in the Clone Codes series, follow it with Cyborg.

Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Bethany's parents have started acting very weird, culminating when they drive her many states away to dump her with an aunt she never knew existed. But in the new town, everyone looks at her oddly and there are whispers of someone named Elizabeth. Once again, the fact that it's on this list is a spoiler.

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna. Eva is an echo--a clone of Amarra, required to know everything about her, for Eva's existence is to step into Amarra's life if she ever dies. When Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva must leave her home and life in England to step into Amarra's life in India, but in India, echos are illegal so discovery of her secret means death.

    

Sharp North by Patrick Cave. In this bedraggled and icy future, Miri witnesses a murder by the police. Before the woman died, she dropped a piece of paper with four names--including Miri's. This sets her off on an adventure to the city where she meets Kay, the misfit son of one of the most powerful families in the land. There, Miri discovers deep secrets about her world and her past. (There's a reason it's on this list...) Follow it with The Selected, whose split narrative makes it both a prequel and a sequel.

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Matt's DNA came from El Patron, who rules the country of Opium, on the border between the US and the country formerly known as Mexico. But Matt's days are numbered and the only way to survive is to escape, but life outside of El Patron's house isn't easier, or safer.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. In this alternate version of England, the Crimean War is still going strong, time travel is no big deal, and cloned dodos make excellent housepets. Thursday Next is a detective with the Literary Division and is on the case when someone starts kidnapping characters from fiction, but, her investigation will take her into the pages itself. Fans will love Fforde's wacky meta-fiction world, so luckily this is the first in a series. Follow it with Lost in a Good Book.

What are your must reads about cloning?

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