Twelve year old Claire was assigned the task of Birthmother in the ceremony. Now at the age of 14 she is ready to bring forth her first Product. Something goes wrong in the birthing and they must cut the Product out of her. Her days as a Birthmother are over and she is reassigned to the Fish Hatchery. Curious, Claire begins searching for her Product, her son, number Thirty-Six.

Here is where the threads begin to come back to you with a wonderful recognition. An old friend is here, a story and its characters that once touched you so deeply and now it's as though they have been living their lives somewhere disconnected from you but have gotten back in touch. It's a great feeling to meet them again and hear their whole story written only as Lois Lowry can.

Claire's search leads her to a man, the Nurturer, who cares for Thirty-Six and often takes him home where his little life crosses paths with none other than Jonas. Oh, wonderful Jonas. Welcome back old friend. it will be Jonas who grabs Gabe (known as 36), from the Society and takes him to Elsewhere to thrive.

Claire flees her world and caught in a storm finds herself washed up and waking up in a fishing village far from any world she knows. Son is divided into three sections and this part of Claire's life is the second section. Here she sees colors and hears music for the first time. Here she learns about love. A crippled man, Einar, teaches her what she needs to know to go in search of her son. Brilliantly Lois Lowry connects this world to the world where Gabe is on his own journey.

After a challenging, perilous climb, Claire meets the Trademaster who bargains for her youth. So it is that Claire finds herself in the world of her son, Gabe where the rest of the story plays out. Weaving together the characters of Jonas, Kira, Gabe and now Claire the story climaxes as Gabe risks everything to face the Trademaster. Here is an ending worthy of the previous four books.

What do you hold dear? Have you looked closely at the world around you? Have you made a deal with the Trademaster? Lois Lowry has stepped forward yet again to write our children a letter to make them consider, to not take for granted, to weigh and measure what is being offered to them as what makes a life worth living, what makes a life successful, what makes a human being reach his or her potential. She's at the top of her storytelling game yet again creating a believable world, filled with characters you care deeply for and underlying it all her own love and concern for young readers and the world they have the potential to create for all. Ages 11 and up

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