Anna Zimmerman Hart is a little different. She’s brilliant at science; she can do math faster than computers; she’s also a pathological thief and liar. Her brother Rowan, a musician, cannot understand her; he sees her as self-absorbed and detached. Anna and Rowan have grown up in a dystopian world where food is scarce, families usually have one child, and they have to check in with a special computer everywhere they go.
But one day the siblings don’t check in. By chance, they meet another girl who looks identical to Anna, and whose first two names are also Anna Zimmerman. When Rowan asks his mother about it, she spills the big secret: Anna is actually a clone of a great scientist who died. And so is this other girl. And there’s a big experiment going on here, but Rowan and Anna had better not tell anyone.
While Anna deals with confusion (who is she, anyway?), she is also getting sicker. Is it from cancer? Or something else?
Anna to the Infinite Power builds to a climax which I shall not ruin. But I’ll give you five reasons to pick it up.
- Super great title. I heard this title and it kept coming back until I finally got the book—it’s just so intriguing!
- Dystopia! Nothing like a little immersion into a twisted world to make you appreciate how good your life really is.
- Technology Humor. I enjoyed the passages that explained the computer in great detail. The book was written in 1981, long before Internet, and I had to smile at the painstaking description of the “information-gathering machine.” It’s something we take for granted today (i.e., a computer and a Google search), but it’s fun to see how people thought before they had that technology.
- Identity Themes. I was actually a little surprised by this one. Mildred Ames takes the opportunity to explore how it would feel to discover you’re a clone. (It feels not good.) I was impressed by this book’s depth in this area, for a young adult book, and this alone makes it worth the read, I think.
- Intensity. I was thinking about this book long after I’d finished it. That’s always a good sign.
Or Not: My critique of Anna to the Infinite Power is that its writing style is a little inconsistent in places, and some parts of the story never feel entirely explained. I didn’t think it was highly significant, though, and I liked the book in spite of this.
It was actually also made into a movie, which I have not seen, but from the clips on YouTube, it looks like a bizarre children’s horror movie. I can’t decide whether to avoid the movie or laugh at it. Haha.
Have you read this book? Will you consider it now? The book (well, eight copies of it) can be found on Amazon here, but it’s out of print now, so you could also check the library…