Article Title



Tessa McMillan


Outstanding, Intermediate, Young Adult, Gordon Korman, Cloning, Experiments, Criminals, Adventure, Mystery

Document Type

Book Review


Serenity, New Mexico, seems to be the best town in the United States. There isn't any crime, poverty, or secrets. But Serenity's clean streak is smeared when Randy Hardaway accidentally takes his best friend, Eli Frieden, outside the city limits. Eli almost dies and Randy is immediately shipped out of town. But Randy leaves Eli a secret note stating that Eli and several other kids are "special" and that Serenity isn't what it appears. Eli and four of his classmates--Tori, Hector, Malik, and Amber--start seeing behind Serenity's spotless façade. The classmates execute a reconnaissance mission to the local plastic's works, the only source of employment in town. The kids discover that the plant is an observation station that is monitoring them. As more clues come together, the classmates find out they are clones of major criminals. The whole of Serenity is an experiment to see if a peaceful environment would change the nature of these children. Not wanting to be anyone’s lab rat, the kids escape Serenity and make their way to Randy’s location.