About the Book

Matt is a clone the El Patrón, a powerful drug mr of the land of Opium, located between the united States and Mexico. For six years, he has lived in a small cottage in the poppy fields with Celia, a kind and also deeply religious servant woman who is charged with his care and safety. Despite Matt has been spared the fate of many clones, who have actually their intelligence damaged at birth, the evil occupants of El Patrón’s empire take into consideration him a “beast” and also an “eejit.” when El Patrón die at the period of 146, 14-year-old Matt escapes Opium with the help of Celia and Tam Lin, his specialized bodyguard who wants to appropriate his very own wrongs. After a near misadventure in his escape, Matt renders his method back home and begins to rid the nation of that is evils.

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Pre-Reading Activity

Ask students to create down their definition of science fiction. Then have them talk about the an interpretation of cloning. Have actually the students debate whether a novel about cloning is by their meaning considered science fiction.


Matteo Alacrán is the clone the El Patrón, the mr of the country called Opium, and lives in isolation until youngsters playing in the poppy fields find him. Why is he so eager to talk to the kids after the is warned against it? Why is Mariá specifically attracted come Matt?Celia yes, really believes the she is protecting Matt by maintaining him locked in her cottage and ignorant around his identity. Talk about their relationship and also debate whether this form of security is without doubt dangerous because that him. How does Celia continue to protect Matt throughout his life top top the Alacrán Estate?El Patrón celebrates his 143rd birthday through a big party. Though Matt was “harvested,” and doesn’t really have a birthday, the celebration is because that him too since he is El Patrón’s clone. How does Matt imitate El Patrón’s power once he demands a birthday kiss native Mariá? comment on how El Patrón motivates Matt’s uncharacteristic behavior. Why is Mariá so humiliated through Matt’s demand? just how does Matt feel the crowd’s disapproval?How walk Tam Lin recognize that Matt’s future lies in finding the Convent the Santa Clara? define Matt’s journey to the convent. What walk he find along the way? comment on Esperanza’s function in helping Matt gain his ultimate liberty — to live together a human.

Extension Activities

Because of exactly how the novel is structured, it resembles acts and scenes in a play. Division the class into 5 groups, and also assign each group a ar to create as a one-act play. Take dialogue directly from the book, and use a narrator to relate the story between speakers.Ask students who have read The Giver by Lois Lowry to stage a conversation in between Matt and also Jonas. Have them talk about the neighborhood they left, their decision to leave and also their technique of escape, the ethical and moral worries related to human cloning in Matt’s community, and the releasing procedure in Jonas’s community. Have actually Matt explain to Jonas why he return to Opium, and what he plans to do to change the country.

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Matteo Alacrán was no born; he to be harvested. His DNA came from El Patrón, mr of a country called minus — a strip of poppy areas lying in between the unified States and what to be once referred to as Mexico. He is a young now, yet most think about him a monster — other than for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, due to the fact that Matt is himself. Together Matt battles to know his existence, the is threatened by a sinister actors of characters. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. However escape is no insurance of freedom, because Matt is marked by his distinction in ways he doesn’t even suspect.