Excerpt from The House of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The House of The Scorpion

by Nancy Farmer

The House of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer X
The House of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2002, 400 pages

    Paperback:
    Nov 2002, 308 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"See, he agrees with me," cried María through her tears.

"This is getting weirder by the minute," said Steven. "I knew we shouldn't have brought the eejit."

"I thought the boy would talk to a kid his own size," Emilia said. "Come on, María. We have to get back before dark."

"I'm not walking anywhere!" The little girl flopped down on the ground.

"Well, I won't carry you, fatso."

"Just leave her," said Steven. He started walking off, and after a moment Emilia followed him.

Matt was appalled. If the big kids went away, María would be all alone. It was going to be dark soon, and Celia wouldn't return for hours. María would be alone with nothing but the empty poppy fields and the...

The chupacabras, who came out after dark and sucked your juices and left you to dry like an old cantaloupe skin!

Suddenly Matt knew what he had to do. María had walked a few steps away from the window before sitting down again. She was shouting insults at the vanished Steven and Emilia. Matt grabbed the big iron cooking pot Celia used to make menudo and swung it before he could worry much about her reaction. She would be furious! But he was saving María's life. He smashed out the glass in the window. It fell in a tinkling, jangling mass to the ground. María jumped to her feet. Steven and Emilia rose up instantly from the poppy field, where they'd been hiding.

"Holy frijoles!" said Steven. All three stood openmouthed, staring at the empty hole where the window had been.

"My name is Matt. I live here. Do you want to play?" said Matt because he couldn't think of another thing to say.

"He can talk," said Emilia after the first shock had died away.

"Is that how you usually open a window, kid?" Steven said. "Stay back, María. There's glass all over." He stepped carefully to the opening and knocked out the remaining shards with a stick. Then he leaned inside to look around. Matt had to hold on to himself to keep from bolting to the other room. "This is creepy! The window's nailed shut. What are you, some kind of prisoner?"

"I live here," Matt said.

"You told us that already."

"Do you want to play?"

"Maybe he's like a parrot and only knows a few words," suggested Emilia.

"I want to play," said María. Matt looked at her with approval. The girl was struggling in Emilia's arms, obviously trying to get to him. Steven shook his head and moved away. He looked like he was really going to leave this time.

Matt came to a decision. It was frightening, but he'd never had an opportunity like this before and he might never have it again. He shoved a chair to the opening, scrambled up, and jumped.

"No!" shouted Steven, running forward to catch him. He was too late.

A terrible pain lanced through Matt's feet. He fell forward, and his hands and knees landed on the shards of glass.

"He wasn't wearing shoes! Oh, man! Oh, man! What're we going to do!" Steven pulled Matt up and swung him onto a clear patch of ground.

Matt stared with amazement at the blood dripping from his feet and hands. His knees sprouted rivulets of red.

"Pull out the glass!" cried Emilia in a high, scared voice. "María, stay away!"

"I want to see!" yelled the little girl. Matt heard a slap and María's shriek of outrage. His head was swimming. He wanted to throw up, but before he could, everything went black.


He woke to the sensation of being carried. He was sick to his stomach, but worse than that his body was trembling in a frightening way. He screamed as loud as he could.

"Great!" panted Steven, who supported Matt's shoulders. Emilia had his legs. Her shirt and pants were soaked with blood, his blood. Matt screamed again.

Copyright © 2002 by Nancy Farmer

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...
  • Book Jacket: Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    by Kevin Wilson
    The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Cradles of the Reich
by Jennifer Coburn
Three women, a nation seduced by a madman, and the Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

Harvard is the storehouse of knowledge because the freshmen bring so much in and the graduates take so little out.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.