This book first came out way back in the 80s (1983 I think, but I'm not exactly sure of the date), and sure, at the time, I wasn't reading YA because I was more stuck in that infinite Nancy Drew/Trixie Beldon loop. So I never heard of it and totally missed it. But now it's been re-released (and optioned for film by Paramount), and I was thrilled to get a copy after hearing it pitched at ALA Midwinter.
EARTHSEED by Pamela Sargent (Tor Teen, February 28, 2012)
What did I love about EARTHSEED?
1) Okay, it was written quite a while back, but even with that, it felt fresh. The science and emotions and adventure totally fit into today's young adult market. I'm actually awed at how well the author managed to do that.
2) It's like space and THE HUNGER GAMES all blended into one. These kids are on board a spaceship, but then they need to make sure they can survive on their own. And so they go to this part of the ship where it's like the outdoors. And it's so cool because I got just an amazing sense for how huge this ship had to be for this to happen.
3) The range of emotions these teens go through is vast (even bigger than the ship). Because when it comes right down to it, these are teens even though they have to learn to live on their own. And as teens, they have these crazy thoughts and emotions and do the most impulsive things. Even if you put the science fiction part of this novel aside, these characters are real and worth caring about.
4) Did I mention the author has won both the Nebula and Locus award?
5) A final thing that really makes EARTHSEED stand out among other YA books out there is the diversity. This ship has seeded people from everywhere on Earth, because in starting a new Earth on other planets, all races need to be represented, and I love how simply this is accomplished. Diversity at its best!
In short, I loved this book! EARTHSEED has it all, and the author has crafted a beautiful story of teens discovering who they are while facing the challenges of living in the real world with no one to guide them but themselves.
Highly recommended for girls and boys, seventh grade and up, fans of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, THE HUNGER GAMES, and GLOW.
Source of book: From publisher
The classic YA science fiction adventure by Nebula and Locus Award–winning author Pamela Sargent
The ship hurtles through space. Deep within its core, it carries the seed of humankind. Launched by the people of a dying Earth over a century ago, its mission is to find a habitable world for the children—fifteen-year-old Zoheret and her shipmates—whom it has created from its genetic banks.
To Zoheret and her shipmates, Ship has been mother, father, and loving teacher, preparing them for their biggest challenge: to survive on their own, on an uninhabited planet, without Ship’s protection. Now that day is almost upon them...but are they ready to leave Ship? Ship devises a test. And suddenly, instincts that have been latent for over a hundred years take over. Zoheret watches as friends become strangers—and enemies. Can Zoheret and her companions overcome the biggest obstacle to the survival of the human race—themselves?