Book Review: The Scavengers by Michael Perry

This middle-grade novel is a fun romp with the love of family and responsibility thrown in. After the country’s population must decide whether they will live inside or outside protective, regimented walls that will control resources, Maggie and her family scrounge for their daily needs outside the Bubble Cities. Life is tough but full with two parents who love her and a special-needs younger brother who delights her and who is her best companion.
But all is not well. Maggie’s father, for one, spends increasingly longer periods with the ghostly humans who are addicted to a sludge-like compound they brew out of leftover chemicals. The corporate conglomerate that grows genetically enhanced corn on much of the good soil outside the cities prevents the outsiders from benefiting from the acres of food. When Maggie comes home to find her family gone and their house ransacked, she must untangle the secrets her parents have hidden from her all her life.
Plenty of action runs throughout this book and the stakes are real. Maggie must grow up quickly, and rounds up her neighbors to help. But truly the only person who can save her family is Maggie herself. She sets off on a cross-country adventure that ends with her facing down nothing less than the government of the bubble cities.
My only complaint with this story was how some information was worked into the text. Dialog was used to convey information that might “educate” readers on various topics, many of which weren’t related to the story or characters. I was greatly turned off by this kind of thing when I was a young reader and I can’t imagine that today’s young readers are much different. But that didn’t take too much away from the plot so the rating here is still high.
This book was received through a giveaway on Literary Rambles. The blog runs frequent giveaways for a variety of books publishers provide the blog as ARCs. Check them out today at LiteraryRambles.com.
5 stars for the book and Literary Rambles!

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