Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Bar Code Rebellion

The Bar Code Rebellion

Suzanne Weyn
Fiction  Series
For ages 14 and up
Scholastic, 2012   ISBN: 978-0545470551

Not that long ago, Kayla was a normal sixteen-year-old who was looking forward to her seventeenth birthday. Now she is on the run, accused of setting fire to her house and killing her mother. She also is one of many people who refuse to have a bar code tattooed on their arms, even though being tattooed with a bar code is now mandatory. Kayla knows that the bar codes not only contain personal information such as ones address and age. They also contain information about ones genetic code, and Global-1 (a company that practically runs everything in the United States) is using this information to decide which who should move up the ladder and who is disposable. Old people and people who have diseases in their family history disappear or are pushed aside by the system.

Kayla and her boyfriend Mfumbe find refuge with likeminded people and they are taught to use their inherent telepathic abilities. It would appear that when Global-1 began tampering with natural human evolution, some humans evolved in response be developing telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Kayla is not only able to communicate with others using her mind, but she also has visions, visions that she is sure show her the future.

When Kayla and Mfumbe go to Washington D.C. to attend a peaceful demonstration against the bar code tattoo laws, she and the other protestors are attached by Global-1 security forces. Hundreds of people are arrested and imprisoned, and Global-1 employees forcefully tattoo bar codes on the prisoner’s arms. Kayla manages to get away and she joins another group of anti-bar code activists. As she and her friends gather information about the bar code tattoos and Global-1, looking for a weak spot that they can use against the company, Kayla begins to realize that the bar codes contain more than just genetic code information. Something else is going on, and somehow Kayla is connected to it. Kayla’s visions and the story of her family lies at the heart of Global-1’s biggest secret.

In this book the story begun in The Bar Code Tattoo is continued. The author slowly peels off layers of secrets until the shocking truth is finally revealed. Readers will find themselves thinking about the bigger issues that are explored in this book. Could we be moving towards a point where people start to lose their individuality? We will become too dependent on technology and thus lose the ability to make choices for ourselves?