A New Year, A New You? Cloning in YA Fiction

Whenever I read about cloning I think about my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, the one about the Duplicator.

Watterson, Bill. Calvin and Hobbes. http://azscifistorytellers.wordpress.com
Watterson, Bill. Calvin and Hobbes. http://azscifistorytellers.wordpress.com

For those of you not familiar, Calvin–a bit of a stinker even on his best behavior–decides to create a cloning machine so that his clone can do all the work Calvin doesn’t want to do. Things backfire a bit and Calvin ends up with multiple clones just as ¬†naughty as him.

The story of Calvin’s duplicator machine simplifies ethical and logistical questions of human cloning such as: What purpose does cloning serve and who or what entity gets to control it? Where does the clone end and the human begin? Is a clone the “same” as the original?

Here are some YA books about cloning and genetic engineering to help you ponder:

replicaReplica by Jenna Black (#1 in the Replica Trilogy)

This one is for you sci-fi/dystopian/murder mystery fans. Nadia and Nathaniel have it all figured out: he’s the heir to the only human cloning corporation in the Corporate States, very rich, and a bit of a spoiled brat; Nadia is Nate’s best friend and also his betrothed, and happy to sacrifice any romantic notions of love to satisfy her family’s financial and social needs. But their perfect world is shattered when Nate is murdered and replaced by his cloned replica, and Nadia and the new Nate are determined to discover the mystery behind Nate’s murder. ¬†Lots of plot twists, folks.

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