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The firefly code
2016
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Summary

Mori and her friends live a normal life on Firefly Lane in their utopian community, Old Harmonie. In a world this safe and perfect, they've never had to question anything . . . never had to wonder about how their lives came to be. Until a new girl named Ilana moves in. She's so perfect that Mori and her friends are curious . . . Where exactly did Ilana come from, and why does she act so strange sometimes? When Ilana's secret is revealed, the kids on Firefly Lane must decide: is it finally time to start questioning the only world they've ever known?

In a stunningly imaginative story, critically acclaimed author Megan Frazer Blakemore takes readers on a journey with five friends--new and old--that will have everyone talking about not just what makes people human, but what makes them true friends.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-An earnest dystopian mystery that celebrates the power of friendship, individuality, and imperfection. In the corporate utopia of Old Harmonie, life is incredibly controlled. Citizens enjoy ready-made meals delivered to their identical houses in a futuristic suburb of Boston. Parents can modify their children's genetics, amplifying and dampening characteristics as their talents unfold. Twelve-year-old Mori has always felt safe in this world, but she relishes moments when she glimpses something truly unique. When new girl Ilana moves in across the street, Mori is instantly drawn to her refreshing sincerity. Ilana and Mori become fast friends over their love of botany, and together they plant a secret garden in the woods. Mori invites her into her circle of friends, and as a group they begin to explore forbidden areas of the town. They quickly discover Old Harmonie (and its mega conglomerate sponsor Krita) was built on a web of troubling secrets. Perhaps they aren't as safe as they thought. Frazer Blakemore offers an intricate mystery that deals with immensely complicated themes, from the painful changes in tween friendships to the ethics of genetic modification. The characters are charmingly naturalistic in this futuristic dystopia, simultaneously spouting corporate lingo and goofy jokes that modern readers will delight in. The specifics of Old Harmonie's infrastructure is labyrinthine, and occasionally pages of unrestrained exposition break the narrative flow of the mystery. Yet the themes are strong, and the depiction of a tightly controlled world at the expense of individuality will surely fascinate fans of Lois Lowry's The Giver. The ending hints at a sequel. VERDICT A very good selection for middle grade readers drawn to high-concept science fiction.-Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School Library, Brooklyn © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Mori, Theo, Julia, and Benji are the kids of Firefly Lane in Old Harmonie, a carefully planned village of the future, located just outside Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each of them is 12 years old, and they are looking forward to another idyllic summer together. Their only worry is that they must choose their latency, a powerful trait (like puzzle solving, physical agility, or photographic memory) that will be super-enhanced later that year. Then a new girl moves in for the first time since anyone can remember, and Firefly Lane will never be quite the same. Ilana is beautiful, brave, athletic, and practically perfect maybe too perfect? and her strangeness forces the kids to challenge their parents, their utopian community, and their own ideas about life, loyalty, and humanity. The story starts slowly, and Ilana's secret may be obvious to observant readers, but the end will have children turning pages and thinking about important questions. An excellent choice for those who love Lois Lowry's The Giver or Margaret Peterson Haddix's sci-fi adventures.--Zeitlin Cooke, Ariel Copyright 2016 Booklist
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