The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm

General Matsika's children steal out of the house on a forbidden adventure--and disappear. In Zimbabwe, in the year 2194, the children's parents call in Africa's most unusual detectives--the Ear, the Eye and the Arm--who have powers far beyond those of other human beings. The children must avoid the evils of the past, the technology of the future, and a motley assortment of criminals in order to return home safely. 1995 Newbery Honor Book; ALA No...

Details The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm

TitleThe Ear, the Eye, and the Arm
Release DateOct 1st, 1995
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Adventure

Reviews The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm

  • Marielle
    I enjoyed this book, but it had problems.The story is about a group of 3 children who go out into the world and get kidnapped. Excessively. They get kidnapped, and escape, and then kidnapped again, and escape, over and over again. To the point where it stops being believable. The other problem is that the author set out to write a sci-fi novel. I know this, because she says so in the introduction. It is not a sci-fi novel. The book has a bunch of...
  • Brendan W.
    This book is amazing. Period. End of story. Last year, when I was strolling through the classroom library, I came upon this book. I saw the cover and I said, "This is the best cover ever." Others may disagree with that statement, but I'm me and I thought it looked awesome. I decided to give it a shot. BAM! It blew me away. KAPOW! It knocked my socks off. ZIP! I read it so fast because it was so FREAKING AWESOME! This author, Nancy Farmer, does a ...
  • Kevin Xu
    I first read this book back a little over ten years ago on the recommendation of my English teacher. One of the best young adult book I have ever read. The best parts are all the characters are so fresh and lively, the settling is top to none. It is a book that is felt with everything for me. A book that just grabs the reader right in and never lets go. I never felt I was in Africa at all.Farmer is a great writer that I see rise with more Middle ...
  • Abby
    I really appreciated that the fact that this SF novel was set in Zimbabwe and actually incorporated myths and traditions from Zimbabwean culture into the story -- very few SF novels take place in non-Western settings and feature non-white protagonists, almost no teen SF novels do this. Another strong point was the nuanced depiction of Resthaven, the seemingly idyllic throwback to premodern Africa hidden in the heart of the city -- Farmer deftly d...
  • Anna
    This book has taken me about a year to finish. It' odd though because the story or the writing kept drawing me back in. I found it difficult to build sympathy for the characters. The detectives hired to find the lost children are bumbling oafs and are always one step behind. The children themselves are thrust into the same scenario of "captured"/"escaped" over and over again. I can't truly explain what is missing from this book - I think it may b...
  • Julie
    I think I’m in a bit of a reading slump, because even this middle-grade book took far too long for me to read. I’m on a vague quest to read Newbery books that I haven’t before, though, so I was glad to round out my collection with this. Mostly, I’m so impressed that this was so diverse for a book published in the 1990s, because it’s a nice piece of Afro-futurism, entirely set in Zimbabwe, with an almost all-black cast and some historica...
  • Greg Kerestan
    Young adult novel? Check. Zimbabwean backwoods journey? Check. Cyberpunk futurist setting? Check. You don't get a lot of books that hit all three of those points- this may be the only one. As a fifth grader I wasn't entirely sure what to make of this novel, but it grew on me as I read. There are elements I remember to this day: the house full of taxidermies; the mile-high hotel skyscraper; the multiethnic mutated detectives. The writing isn't ent...
  • Drew
    Great memories of this book, if only because it was so different from anything else I'd read at age 12 or so. I'd hate to read it again and have those memories ruined, but I still kind of want to. Because dystopian Zimbabwe, supernatural detectives, and spirits in masks.
  • Keegan
  • Kori Morris
    I enjoyed the book a lot - the author tried to pay homage to real traditions and beloefs as much as possible. My main gripe with the book is that the villains seem unnecessarily vile and vicious without any depth.
  • Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
    Set in Zimbabwe, 2194, Farmer crafts a future Africa which has conquered the globe. Zimbabwe plays host to communities segregated by wealth and culture, such as the African Shona tribe and the English or Portuguese tribes. Famer's Zimbabwe is a rising power, largely critical of the post-colonial race the country currently is experiencing. In fact, race and skin color are barely addressed in this book at all. Instead, Farmer explores ideas of pers...
  • Christina
    This was a really (junior high level) amazing foray into ideas about identity, belonging, and cultural purity/evolution. The amazing detectives (named in the title) who discover, ultimately and by accident, the whereabouts of the Security Chief's kidnapped children are blessed/cursed with special abilities as a result of a radioactive accident in their anscestor's past. This futuristic novella dares to set itself in the (probable?) world of 22nd ...
  • Eleanor
    The Ear, the Eye and the Arm is a children's/YA novel from 1995, of which no one outside the US appears ever to have heard. My dad brought it home for me in 2001, and it was so entirely unlike any other book I read as a child that scenes and characters from it have haunted the back of the immense broom cupboard that is my reading mind for years. It's set in Harare, Zimbabwe in the late twenty-second century, which is kind of funny because most of...
  • Nancy
    Okay, I definitely expected more from this book. 1. Where was the mystery? I thought it would be some intense plot filled with true villains who wanted to overthrow the government, or a group of outsiders who want to take revenge against the general by kidnapping his kids. I have this thing called an imagination and I thought, judging from House of the Scorpions, Farmer would be throwing some twists and turns here. 2. As much as I liked the adven...
  • Cindy
    This is like 4 books in one. The first is the story of three kids, living a sheltered and rather boring life, who set off on a series of adventures. The second is a sci-fi look at what life might be like in a future Africa, with robots and mutants and mile high buildings. The third is a mystery with three unusual detectives searching for some kidnapped children. And the last book is a examination of what happens when modern people try to return t...
  • Margaret
    This sat on my to-read shelf for a while, and it shouldn't have, because it's one of the best young adult novels I've read in a while. It's set in Zimbabwe in 2194, where the three children of the powerful General Matsika are forbidden to leave their home for fear of kidnapping. Longing to experience the outside world, the three children figure out how to get out...and disappear. Their parents call in an unusual set of detectives, three people wh...
  • Phil Jensen
    About half as good as The House of the Scorpion. I might have liked this book more if I didn't know that Farmer is capable of better.There is an inescapable PG-ness to the plot that lowers the stakes of the whole book. There is really no doubt about where the character arcs will end and how the story will turn out. As a result, the setting has to carry the interest level of the whole book. Farmer does put out some amazing settings, with some grea...
  • E.M. E-M
    first book of 2008. what a remarkable position to hold... i remember loving this book in middle school. still enjoyed it now, though recognized some new/questionable elements. generally good narrative and some very interesting characterizations of zimbabwe 2194. was particularly intrigued by the over-simplified but largely critical portrayal of the post-colonial race and class warfare of the southern African future... especially interesting was d...
  • Andrew Hudson
    The three children of a broadly benign dictator, General Matsika, languish within the protected compound that is their home, forbidden from all but the most proscriptive exposure to the world outside for fear of offering their father's enemies an opportunity to kidnap or kill them, and lay him low.Empathetic Tendai, his thorny sister Rita, and their young brother Kuda long for an unrestricted taste of the rich world beyond those walls: Harare, ca...
  • McKenna Colver
    Tendai, his sister Rita, and his brother Kuda, against the wishes and warnings of their strict and influential parents, go out into the world away from their house so they can explore. Unfortunately, not long after they make it to the market, they are kidnapped and taken to the She Elephant, who plans to sell them to the Masks. To get their children back, Tendai's parents hire the help of three strange detectives whose powers came from the nuclea...
  • Tristan Goding
    One of the coolest YA novels your kid could read! A psychedelic romp through the abnormal recesses of the mind of a science fiction writer who views the world around them as more odd than what tomorrow holds. The writing is hysterical, the story is full of oddities and wonderment, and at no point does the reader have a chance to catch their breath. I love the characters and the journey and I confess that I've re-read it at least a few times. It's...
  • Addie
    This is the worst book I have ever read! I would never recommend it to anyone. This book was full of horrible things I could hardly stand to read. If I didn't have to read it, I would never of had finished it. The beginning idea was good a good idea, but kept getting worse as the story went on. The characters and their actions were truly evil, attempts to kill an innocent baby, contacting and possessing evil spirits, evil gangs, and attempting to...
  • Theo
    The story itself was very fun, but I'll admit I remember very little of it. The real story lies in the time when I began reading this - I was in middle school. My mom would read it to me before bed. Time happened, and we never finished it. Until now, a week after graduating college, we took turns reading it until we had finished it!
  • Eva
    3.5/5A far better futuristic dystopian than The Giver, in my opinion. Why wasn't I made to read this in 7th grade instead of that? The writing wasn't too elaborate, and therefore easy to understand, and African lore was obviously researched well for this book. The author did a respectful job of keeping the culture whilst simultaneously adding some interesting twists like holophones and robot maids. This book has actually been on my shelves for y...
  • Maureen
    So there is this show on the Travel Channel where this guy goes to exotic places and eats foods that would make most Americans barf, and he was in Madagascar eating bugs and antelope entrails and his wife, who travels with him, "got" to help the women do all the work of cooking this nasty-smelling stew and and serving the men while they sat on a blanket and told stories, and the show reminded me so much of the scene where Rita and Tendai eat thei...
  • Jess
    Tried of being trapped in a Zambabwe mansion by overprotective parents, Tendai (13), Rita (11), and Kuda (4) set out on an adventure for scouts. A kidnapping changes the path without ending the adventure while also involving dectectives Ear, Eye, and Arm.I liked parts of it - like plastic being collectible - but loads of other stuff was eh.The dad's overprotective nature came on too strong; I didn't need a comment made about both that and his hid...
  • Allison Parker
    In a futuristic Zimbabwe, the three children of a high-ranking general sneak out of their sheltered, robot-managed lives for a trip across the city. But their plans change when they are captured and taken to strange places they never imagined existed outside of their plush house. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, a detective team, are hired to find the child using their special abilities which came to them from their mothers' exposure to toxic waste...
  • Redd Becker
    Ear, Eye and Arm is Tendai’s coming-of-age story. He leaves home with his younger siblings as a boy and returns a man. Each adventure the children encounter deftly weaves core human foibles and what can be learned from them into the plot: greed, power, laziness, unrestrained talk, retardation, childhood innocence.Farmer writes in a more literary style than many books these days, but this tale was engaging. Encounters with interesting characters...
  • Manisha Gore
    In The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, Farmer has a unique style. The first thing I noticed was the point of view. The book is narrated in the third person. The narrator knows all of the characters. However, the narrator is not constant- the point of view occasionally shifts to the viewpoint of ten year old Tendai, one of the Matsika children. Another interesting aspect of the author's style is the use of many themes. One of the most prominent of all ...