Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children's book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don't need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.
Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he's longed for most?
"The Gardener" is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
About the Author
S.A. Bodeen is the author of "The Compound," which earned her an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults, a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and a "Publishers Weekly" "Flying Start." She is also the author of several picture books, including "Elizabeti's Doll," winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award. Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Her first friends were cows, which she named after characters in books. From there she went on to be a Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa, and has lived in seven states, as well as a remote Pacific island. She adores books and is a big fan of cheese. She lives in Oregon.
“Enjoyable, escapist fare that many readers will enjoy” --Kirkus Reviews“[A] likable protagonist and a juicy premise” --School Library Journal "Author S.A. Bodeen has laced this sci-fi-tinged page-turner with thoughtful commentary on world hunger, sustainability, biology and biomedical ethics, plus several high-speed chases and a believable budding romance, and the whole thing works like a charm." --BookPage Praise for S. A. Bodeen and The Compound: “Bodeen turns out a high-wire act of a first novel, a thriller that exerts an ever-tighter grip on readers . . . The audience will feel the pressure closing in on them as they, like the characters, race through hairpin turns in the plot toward a breathless climax.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review “Debut novelist Bodeen effectively builds the claustrophobic suspense with each chapter as readers slowly discover the Compound is not the refuge it seems. Combining elements of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Running Out of Time (1995) and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), published for adults, this post-apocalyptic thriller will also pique the interest of Nancy Werlin and L.J. Adlington fans.”—Booklist “Suspenseful and riveting, this debut novel raises serious issues about what it means to survive.”—Kirkus Reviews