The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

Posted March 5, 2011 by Lisa Mandina in / 0 Comments

This is the 2nd book I’ve read by this author, and I see a bit of a trend. But it’s a good one! One that I think will bring about more books to read in the future.

Anyway, our main character is Mason, when he was a young boy, he was mauled by a neighbor’s dog, and has grown up with a hideously scarred face. He lives in a town with a big science lab called TroDyn. He wants to go work there for the summer, because he is very interested in science, but his mother won’t let him. One night when he stops by the nursing home his mother works at, he finds a girl, several young catatonic people actually, that are at what he assumed was a nursing home for older people. While he’s waiting on his friend, he slips a DVD, the only thing he has of his father into the DVD player. It is a recording of his father reading a children’s book. During certain lines, this girl wakes up. Then the next few lines, she goes back to being catatonic. Mason figures out the parts of the poem wake her up, and so he wakes her up. When he does, she freaks out a bit, not sure where she is, and starts talking about him getting her away before the Gardener comes.

So, Mason takes her away and tries to find out what is going on. It’s obvious she was part of some experiment at the labs.

A big point of this story is how someday we are going to run out of food. And the scientists are looking for ways to make humans more like plants, autotrophs in other words, that can make their own food from the sun.

Mason gets wrapped up in the girl’s mystery, and even finds some things out about himself.

This was a very engrossing read. I will definitely be recommending it at the bookstore as well as to my students. The trend I see was that in The Compound, the dad was trying to find a way to keep his family alive underground, with some kind of sick experiments. Again, scientists trying to find a way to save the human race with some kind of sick experiments.
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