What if the world started falling apart and your family was given the choice to live in the new "Bubble Cities" or stay outside of them forever? In The Scavengers by Michael Perry (No Lexile Found; Interest Level: Grades 4-7), the government responded to the threat of climate change by partnering with a corporation that makes genetically modified corn (which can cure diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other problems) and takes over all of the farmland. They give all people the choice of the Bubble Cities or the Outside. Maggie's family made the choice to stay outside . After years of scavenging for food and items that could be sold to pay for other provisions, Maggie decides to change her name to Ford Falcon (after an old station wagon she finds and adopts as her special place).
Things are getting stranger and stranger in Ford Falcon's world: her dad seems to be gone more and more; her younger brother doesn't talk; her mom seems sad. And the GreyDevils seem to be getting closer and closer. Ford doesn't quite understand everything in her world, but she must learn fast when the safety of her family is threatened. What Ford Falcon does to help her family greatly surpasses what most think children can do. She is a strong, spunky character.
At times I found this book to be quite funny, but at other times I wondered how such a young girl could be expected to do what Ford Falcon does. There is a strong political message in this book, and it sometimes takes over the plot. This would be a good read for those who enjoyed City of Ember and The Giver, but are not quite ready for the violence in Hunger Games.
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.