Organ Music by Margaret Mahy
|Organ Music by Margaret Mahy|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Thrilling tale of danger, ghosts, and secret experiments, blending themes of bioethics with a tale of the unexpected. Ideal for reluctant readers.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 91||Date: August 2010|
David and Harley are out later than they should be. David is getting anxious: he knows his mother will be worrying already, and he's not the type to break rules or get into trouble of any kind. But Harley's feeling rebellious; he's having a tough time at home at the moment, and he's up for pushing at some boundaries. So they wander along Forbes Street, in a down-at-heel area of town, looking for a bit of adventure. And surely enough, they find it in a car left with its keys temptingly in the ignition.
So they go for a joyride.
And discover the car has a mind of its own.
And end up deep in the newly-planted genetically-modified forest, at a research facility.
And it all starts to go very, very wrong...
This is a short, sharp, original story, blending themes of bioethics with a tale of the unexpected. Things aren't quite what they seem at the Willesden Research Centre, and while the boys start out feeling remorseful about joyriding and trespassing, they soon realise they're in a fight for their lives. Who is Quinta? How can she appear and disappear like that? What does Dr Fabrice intend to do with them? And can they trust Winnie, the beaming security guard?
It's a quick and easy story to read - coming in at just 91 pages - so it's ideal for younger or reluctant readers, but it loses little in terms of narrative drive or tension for its brevity, so confident tweens and early teens will enjoy it just as much. It's sharply observed too, and deceptively clever, making points about medical ethics at the same time as making you shiver deliciously with the horror of it all.
My thanks to the good people at Gecko for sending the book.
If they enjoyed Organ Music, they'll love Coraline by Neil Gaiman, an Alice in Wonderlan-style novella. Those who like the horror aspect will enjoy Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley. If bioethics interest them, they could look at Legend by John Brindley.
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