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The Diary of Pelly D.

by L.J. Adlington

Published by U.S. edition: Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2005
282 pages
ISBN: 0-06-076615-8

Ages 12-15

Tony V is an excavator in a future dystopia. While digging through ruins, he discovers the diary of Pelly D, a girl who must have lived near that spot years before. Her writing offers an explanation of how the world has come to the point it is at, leading Tony to question much of what he has been taught to believe. Wealthy and popular, Pelly was everything Tony is not. But when a required gene test was given to all citizens, Pelly was discovered to have been part of a lower-class line of ancestry, which changes her position in life dramatically. Adlington offers details about Tony’s reality in increments that parallel the pace at which Tony discovers things about Pelly’s world. While this reverse world-building is disconcerting at first, science fiction fans will appreciate the way it creates a kind of urgency, and how they must hunt for clues to explain strange things like Tony’s gills. As it becomes more and more clear that Pelly’s fall was due to racism and classism in a culture not altogether unlike our own, The Diary of Pelly D begs the question of whether our own society is on a path toward Pelly D’s reality, or, worse, Tony’s.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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