Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anna to the Infinite Power

I loved this book when I was a kid. I read it over and over--checked it out from the library, again and again--and I thought it was so creepy and great. Then there was a thread on the child_lit listserv about books in which children participate in a scientific/social experiment. Her given examples were "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, The Giver or, of course, The Hunger Games." Someone mentioned Anna, and I thought "How could I have forgotten about it?!" So I put it on hold at the library.

It was published in 1981. It's by Mildred Ames.

It was amazing upon reread, but it wasn't at all the book I remembered. Or I should say--I didn't really remember it, but even after rereading it, I didn't remember it like that! I remembered something about clones, and that it was creepy.

This, also (like my last post), is a book about the Holocaust, sort of. If you're going to put The Book Thief on the same shelf with The Diary of Anne Frank, this one might belong there too. Oddly.

It's aged very well, I think. It's sci fi, so their ideas about the future--i.e. now--are very 1984, in how it's so clearly a future seen through the perspective of that moment. (How else could you see the future?) But I liked it. I think I'll read it again. I want to keep thinking about it. It's easy to dismiss sci fi set in a future that's now the past--the 1990's, say--but it's interesting to think about how, sure, she was wrong about a lot of the technology stuff--but she was thinking about reproductive technology, and making guesses about that. It went a different way than in the novel, but... yeah.

I never know how to talk about a book without telling the story of it. And I could tell the story of it. But I'm not. I want you to find this and read it. It's out of print, but my library had it, and Amazon has fifteen used copies for sale. I might be buying one. Probably not from them, but--yeah.

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