by Nancy Werlin
No secret ever really stays a secret. It doesn't matter how hard you try, in the end, especially if it's a big one, it's going to come out. When Eli starts work for world renown scientist Dr. Wyatt, he is warned by his father to stay far away from him. Suspicious and confused by his father's pronouncement, given with no explanation, Eli begins to investigate further into Dr. Wyatt's experiments. But what he finds may be more personal than he could ever imagine.
Double Helix is about the dangers of genetic engineering. The book deftly brings up the very sensitive topic about the moral complexities of genetic modification. Is it right to destroy a potential life because you ultimately know it is going to die of a terrible disease or is it better to only allow the healthy to survive? Eli's mother dies of Huntington's Disease in the beginning of the novel, fueling the debate brought up in the book. It is a well written novel with engaging characters which older tweens will like. It's got a bit of conspiracy, a love story, and is overall very though provoking.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 9th Grade