The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

Redd Becker Book Review

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

Ear, Eye and Arm is Tendai’s coming-of-age story. He leaves home with his younger siblings as a boy and returns a man. Nancy Farmer writes each adventure the children encounter deftly while spicing them with basic human foibles. Issues woven between the lines include: greed, power, laziness, unrestrained talk, retardation, childhood innocence.

Farmer writes in a more literary style than many books these days, but this tale was engaging. Encounters with interesting characters and compelling situations kept me reading.

Farmer created a science fiction alternate-history in Zimbabwe. It’s a future of robots and mutated humans. When three children of a high-level law enforcement official run away from home for a day’s adventure, they fall into the clutches of kidnappers. They escape only to begin a journey filled with many harrowing situations. While the children grapple with the underbelly of their city, their parents and three detectives (Eye, Ear and Arm) attempt to find them. The children’s adventures cover the gamut from: scavenging among ancient trash fields where the poor mine plastic, to helping out at ‘Resthaven”s back to nature enclave, to relaxing at a children’s boarding home, but at a price. 

Nancy Farmer Awards

Farmer gains recognition through her acclaimed awards: Newberry Honor Book, Golden Kite Honor Book and Parent’s Choice Book. There must be more.

My Rating four-stars

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy FarmerThe Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
Published by Firebird on January 14th 2002
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure
Pages: 320
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four-stars

Tendai, his little sister and their younger brother escape from their splendid home to explore their dangerous city. Tendai is motivated by wanting to earn a scouting badge, and he desperately wants to prove himself, as their overprotective father has always placed tight restrictions on what the siblings can and can't do.