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Halifax Public Libraries


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The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

The Bar Code Tattoo is a young adult dystopian novel set in a future world where everyone has to have a bar code implanted in their arm by the time they’re sixteen. This barcode gives you access to everything, from your car to your bank account. Every time teenagers turn sixteen they’re all excited to get this new “key to adulthood”. Kayla doesn’t want one though. She’s about to turn sixteen and she thinks the idea of the bar code tattoos is really creepy. When she denies the chance to get one though, she becomes an outcast in the world and she finds the government out to ruin her.

The story to The Bar Code Tattoo was really interesting, but the book looks better than it really is. There’s very little description of anything at all. It seems to me that the characters are all really shallow, just flat, cardboard cut-outs with not a lot that makes them original. The second book in the series, The Bar Code Rebellion, is the exact same way. It’s too bad, because I really liked the plot, which was about how conforming to what’s trendy and popular isn’t always a good thing.

The library does have some really good books though if you like the dystopian genre. Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld, is a book about a girl who lives in a society where everyone gets an operation at a certain age. This is a huge amount of plastic surgery and stuff to make them into “Pretties”, abnormally beautiful people in society. In the book, one girl decides to rebel against this operation because she likes her appearance, and she runs away from home to live in the woods. Uglies is really similar to The Bar Code Tattoo but much better and more exciting to read in my opinion.

The Barcode Tattoo is an award nominee and best book pick:

It was a 2007 Nevada Library nominee for “Best Young Adult Fiction” and American Library Association 2005 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.

The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list identifies titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read for whatever reason.


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