Summary: When the human race loses their ability to procreate, the last generation goes through childhood, rendering everything child-related obsolete by the time they turn fifteen. Friends Mia, Xian and Jesse are growing up in a world without hope, amongst humans who are trying to find the survival of their species in cloning or robotics. All three have reasons to want to escape from their bleak futures, but when they stumble upon a mystery in the tunnels Xian has discovered, they follow the clues that lead them to an unexpected surprise, and hopefully the redemption of the human race.
Number of Pages: 253
Age Range: 13-14
Review: In Children of Men by P.D. James, she explores the impending extinction of the human race from an adult perspective. It’s a bleak world, as babies and children are the world’s hope and the lack of them sends everyone into a profound depression. The Never Weres by Fiona Smyth captures a different angle of the same situation, focusing instead on the world’s last generation, already fifteen years old, looking for purpose and hope for the future.
And they find it, through a mystery with twists and turns and clues the reader can decipher before Mia, Xian and Jesse do if they are reading and looking closely enough. Smyth is great in providing details through her illustrations, and her storyline is just deep enough to provide some satisfaction when the book ends.
I like it because you can read it two ways. It can be read as a lighter mystery, or as social commentary. I enjoyed how Smyth makes her characters easy to care about either way. It’s a bit of an odd book, but it’s worth reading for the illustrations alone. And even though it isn’t specifically identified in the book, it is obvious from Smyth’s drawings that the book is set in Toronto.
Memorable Quotes: In this book, the memorable quotes are Smyth’s illustrations. If you look carefully, you can see a million details you never would have thought she could fit into one drawing. But Smyth does, and it’s just fun. Plus, as an added bonus, her illustrations are diverse and inclusive.