Cover image for Star split
Star split
Lasky, Kathryn.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, [1999]

Physical Description:
203 pages ; 22 cm
In 3038, thirteen-year-old Darci uncovers an underground movement to save the human race from genetic enhancement technology.
Reading Level:
900 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.0 7.0 35287.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.5 12 Quiz: 19210 Guided reading level: X.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In 3038, thirteen-year-old Darci uncovers an underground movement to save the human race from genetic enhancement technology.

Author Notes

Kathryn Lasky was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 24, 1944, and knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she was ten. She majored in English in college and after graduation wrote for various magazines and taught. Her first book, I Have Four Names for My Grandfather, was published while she was teaching.

She has written more than seventy books for children and young adults on everything from historical fiction to picture books and nonfiction books including the Dear America books and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. Many of her books are illustrated with photographs by her husband, Christopher Knight. She has received many awards for her titles including Sugaring Time which was a Newberry Honor Book; The Night Journey which won the National Jewish Book Award for Children; Pageant which was an ALA Notable Children's book; and Beyond the Burning Time which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She has also received the Washington Post's Children's Book Guild Award for her contribution to children's nonfiction. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lasky (Alice Rose & Sam) provocatively explores the ethics of genetic engineering in this well-plotted novel set in the year 3038. Like everyone she knows, 13-year-old Darci Murlowe is a Genhant, or Genetically Enhanced Human, implanted with a 48th chromosome. But Darci is fascinated by "Originals," people whose ancestors could not afford to get extra genetic material, and she unhappily wonders if her DNA, so carefully chosen by her parents, has compromised her ability to determine her own future. These concerns shrink in the face of a shocker--Darci runs into a clone of herself, living evidence that her parents must have committed the capital crime of "duplication." The author maintains taut suspense even as she outlines the technological underpinnings of Darci's futuristic society. There are some weak spots (a hasty resolution, an implausible similarity between the social structure of the fourth millennium and that of today), but on the whole this is gripping fare. An afterword explains that every one of the genetic engineering strategies mentioned in the novel is based on techniques currently available or in developmental stages; thus tipping the balance in her science fiction toward science, Lasky leaves readers with plenty of food for thought. Ages 10-14. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Gr 7-9-Genetically enhanced like others of her privileged class, Darci Murlowe, a typical if somewhat lonely teenager in the year 3038, is shocked first, when she accidentally meets her illegal clone, and second, to find that her parents are part of an underground movement to save the genetic future of humanity. Darci is told that she and many others her age are genetic chimeras whose cells hold a secret stash of "Original" DNA, which will prevent "the great fracturing" of humanity into separate genetic species. After being found out, Darci, her clone, and their parents are saved from incineration, the punishment for illegal cloning, by the Primarch, leader of the Bio Union, who sacrifices herself to save them all. Unfortunately, this novel spends far too much time setting things up. The story doesn't begin until halfway through the book and then it hinges on unbelievable coincidences. This far-flung future lacks any futuristic feel and the presence of mundanities such as television, newspapers, and today's slang add to its falseness. The pseudoscience often overwhelms the plot and characters and, while the novel's ultimate message is "we are not our genes," the clones in Darci's world grow up to do exactly what their predecessors did. Sci-fi seekers will be better served by any of Peter Dickinson's offerings in this genre or William Sleator's books.-Timothy Capehart, Leominster Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.