I read a number of books when I was around 10-15 years old (roughly 1985-1990) by a female, Canadian, sci-fi author. I can't remember her name (maybe Amy something?) or the titles of any of the books but I'll try to describe a few plot elements. I can't even remember what bits were together in which books.

  • most books involved children, or 'young adults', in dystopian futures

  • one story involved a young boy who worked as a gardener in a domed city whose hand had been genetically modified into a set of garden shears

  • another story involved a young girl who was somehow telepathically/psychically linked to another girl a great distance away. Although they had never met she felt compelled to leave her city and travel to meet her

  • at one point a young boy and girl (possibly one of them the gardener) escape a city into a "wasteland" outer world and come across a landfill site full of strange items they don't recognize like plastic bottles and shopping bags

  • Hi did you ever find this - I’ve been looking for years and I think It’s the same book. If so some details I remember - there was a walkway scene in it where those who aren’t free thinkers like the main character is all had a pile up which he had to step around. If you have found it please let me know!
    – Jo Zebedee
    Jan 5 '21 at 23:57

When checking up on City of Ember, found an author that fits the bill, Suzanne Martel. She's a french-Canadian author and was active from the 60s onwards. Unfortunately she seems to write in French, so this means that I cannot get summaries for her books (especially because they are old).

However, it seems that the book called "Surreal 3000"/"The City Under Ground" is a match for one of your stories, so do check it out.

  • This article in Science Fiction Studies #61 mentions some plot elements of Surréal 3000, including a little girl's telepathy that causes the heroes to travel outside the city. So yes, that sounds like a likely match.
    – user56
    Oct 18 '11 at 16:08
  • The City Underground was about a boy, I think. People had moved underground due to an impending nuclear holocaust (maybe?) and he finds a way back to the surface, where he meets a girl. I distinctly remember a scene where he sees rain for the first time. Pretty sure neither of his hands was garden shears.
    – Adele C
    Jan 29 '12 at 17:46
  • "Surreal 3000"/"The City Under Ground" has a telepathic link, but it's between a boy and a girl. Aug 16 '16 at 14:03

The one story with the boy and girl sounds like a movie I saw with Bill Murray in it. They live in an underground city called the City of Ember. That's it, the original book was written by Jeanne Duprau.

  • 2
    That book was released in 2003, so probably not what the asker wanted.
    – apoorv020
    Oct 18 '11 at 1:44

None of the plot lines mentioned sound familiar, but could it be Monica Hughes? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monica_Hughes

  • Monica Hughes sounds like a pretty good match for the era and subject matter. One of her novels was "Devil on my Back", about a boy living in a technological sophisticated but emotionally sterile domed city, who escapes to the wasteland. There is a garden scene. The sequel is "The Dream Catcher", in which a telepathic occupant of a different domed city felt compelled to leave and meet a stranger.
    – AshleyZ
    Apr 28 '17 at 19:38

I think that one of the books will be "Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood.

  • 7
    The Handmaid's Tale doesn't sound like any of those plots, and isn't a young adult book. Jul 14 '11 at 21:17
  • I think this answer should be reassessed. The Handmaid's Tale is definitely not a book for children and young adults.
    – Adele C
    Jan 29 '12 at 17:43
  • M.Atwood is canadian, but that's about it....
    – A.D
    Aug 27 '12 at 12:04

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