Imagine America hundreds of years from now. Science and technology has created a society of humans who can live for hundreds of years. Pain and suffering has been eliminated; peace reigns. There is no inequality. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
In The Office of Mercy, author Ariel Djanikian creates just such a Utopia, but under the perfection lies a history of manipulation and deceit.
Following The Storm, a catastrophic event that altered the course of history, many settlements were created to house a select group of survivors. Natasha Wiley, a member of the youngest generation living in America-Five, works in the Office of Mercy. Her job is to monitor the remaining tribes struggling to survive outside the sterile dome and find an opportune time to “sweep” them. The Alphas – the first generation of America-Five and the ruling leaders - consider it their obligation to relieve the pain and suffering of these primitive people. Natasha begins to wonder if this assignment is really offering compassion to these tribes or if cruel and unnecessary. When she has the opportunity to meet some of the tribespeople in person, her resolve wavers and she sets a plan in motion that will turn America-Five upside-down.
The Office of Mercy presents a quiet struggle between technology and Mother Nature alongside a struggle between societies. The book left this reader thinking of the Native Americans upon European contact and Hitler’s World War II.
The author of several hands-on activity books for kids, Kris Bordessa has a thing for transforming perfectly good garbage into craft projects. Her book, Team Challenges: Group Activities to Build Cooperation, Communication, and Creativity, features more than 200 team building activities that have been used with youth groups, in the classroom, and even at the occasional wine party. She lives in Hawaii with her family, where there's always some sort of gardening experiment in the works.