Middle grade fiction with dystopian elements. Challenging and thought-provoking; affecting and beautifully crafted.
Every girl dreams of being part of the line - the chosen seven who tunnel deep into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more important. Jena is the leader of the line - strong, respected, reliable.
And - as all girls must be - she is small; her years of training have seen to that. It is not always easy but it is the way of the things. And so a girl must wrap her limbs, lie still, deny herself a second bowl of stew.
Or a first. But what happens when one tiny discovery makes Jena question everything she has ever known? What happens when moving a single stone changes everything?
Set in an impenetrable valley, surrounded by rock formed mountains, Jena is the leader of the girls who tunnel into the mountains crevices to harvest the magical mica that gives their village light and warmth through their freezing winters.
Only girls who are wrapped to remain tiny can perform this task. Seven are sent to replicate the seven women who survived the cataclysm that sealed their valley and emerged from the mountain unscathed.
The Mothers (women leaders) run the community but are their intentions open and honest or are they hiding things? What are the concoctions they keep locked in their storage facility?
Jena starts to question their motives, but will she be able to uncover the truth and reveal to all that there is actually a whole world that exists outside their valley?
This was an enlightening and thought provoking read that raises many questions and opens class discussions to which end Walker
Books have provided three pages of classroom ideas, questions and activities. These will be available at www.classroom.walkerbooks.com.au.
It is best suited for lower secondary students (Year 7 & 8).
Reviewed by Rob