The House of the Scorpion was written by Nancy Farmer and published in 2002 by Atheneum Books. It is the first of two books in the series, and is a combination of the science fiction and YA genres. It is set in the future and largely takes place in Opium, a fictional country between the United States and future Mexico. Matt, the main character, is a clone of a El Patrón, the drug lord who created Opium. In this universe, clones are seen as inferior to humans and are used for transplants to keep their originals alive for longer.
Farmer's narrative won the U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and was named a Newbery Honor Book as well as a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. It was also a runner-up for the Locus Award in the YA category and the Mythopoeic Award in the children's category.