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quote 2015-08-23 18:38
"Before you can be what you are, you must be all things."

This book is astonishing. It is all things itself.
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review 2015-05-16 00:00
Lizard Radio
Lizard Radio - Pat Schmatz The Summer Prince meets 1984 in this unique near-future novel

A wholly unique story told from the point of view of in-between Kivali - who everyone calls Lizard. In a near future that is eerily different from our own world, Kivali is sent to CropCamp for the summer. There she will learn to follow all the rules, work hard, and become a good citizen. But little Kivali - Lizard - is confused, because her foster mother, Sheila, never would have sent her to Camp without provocation. Why is she at Camp? Why is Sheila being so secretive and strange in her messages? And why does Lizard sometimes really enjoy being at CropCamp, despite the strict regulations, curfews, and mind-bending Tenets?

Lizard is a girl who might decide she's a boy, a bender, and she's in-between in most other parts of her life, too. Leader or follower - independent or community-driven? Lizard needs to decide before the Camp Leader makes up her mind for her. But Lizard makes friends at camp - fiery Sully and tiny Rasta - and if she's going to ask the difficult questions then her friends are going to get tangled up in it, too. Lizard doesn't shy away from the tough questions - she walks right up and stares them in the face. This is who she is, and LIZARD RADIO is an eye-opening story about Kivali discovering that she can be in-between and still be herself.

The world-building is fascinating and clever. With 1984-style jargon, some readers may find it a little difficult to adapt to Kivali's strange Camp world, but soon they'll be immersed in the culture of Pievilles and CounCircle, kickshaw and chippies. In the style of Alaya Dawn Johnson's THE SUMMER PRINCE, LIZARD RADIO addresses the issues of freedom and choice, gender and sexuality, in a world reminiscent of Orwell's 1984. LIZARD RADIO is a unique and powerful novel with a strong story that will leave readers with many questions of their own to answer about themselves.
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