The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer
The Other Lost Boys
The name "Lost Boys" is a shout-out to a Shmoop-personal favorite: Peter Pan. Peter Pan was the leader of his own rag-tag band of Lost Boys, who all live in Neverland, where they will never grow up. In the world of Peter Pan, being a Lost Boy is actually a whole lot of fun. They have all sorts of adventures, live in a magical land, and battle pirates. Sounds like good times.
Unfortunately, our own band of Lost Boys in The House of the Scorpion have a rougher go of it. There's no swashbuckling to be done in Aztlán. In fact, they're less like the boys in Peter Pan and much more like the downtrodden orphans in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, or the mistreated boarding school students in Nicholas Nickelby, or the various suffering youths in David Copperfield. Basically, you can take these boys and plop them smack in the middle of any Dickens novel, and they'd fit right in, because Dickens had a thing for writing about young kids dealing with crappy times. Or, if you want to switch genres and genders, we bet the scrappy girls at the world's worst orphanage in Annie could give our Lost Boys a run for their money when it comes to being down on their luck. But hey, at least those girls could sing and dance to pass the time.
Let's take a closer look at some of our very own Lost Boys.
Flaco is the oldest of the Lost Boys at the Plankton Factory, and he's the closest thing the Lost Boys have to a leader. He's The House of the Scorpion's equivalent of Peter Pan or Oliver Twist's Dodger. Matt might serve as an inspiration to the boys, but it's Flaco who gets them going. His approval of Matt also doesn't hurt. Because he's their leader, and he thinks Matt is a-okay, all the other boys are willing to jump on the bandwagon and rebel against the Keepers.
In the end, when the takeover occurs, Flaco decides to say behind at the compound to report the Keepers' bad behavior to people in charge. While Matt and his friends have bigger fish to fry, he's going to see this thing through no matter what. Flaco might be older and more cynical than our more familiar Lost Boys, but he also has more faith in the Keeper system than Matt, Chacho, Ton-Ton, and even little Fidelito. He wants to make it better, not leave altogether.
Luna is a friend of Ton-Ton's. He works in the infirmary at the Plankton Factory and he's training to be a Keeper. Luna thinks everyone is going to train to be a Keeper one day and doesn't seem aware of the problem between the amount of boys at the factory (200 plus) and the amount of Keeper positions (20 or so). Math is, shall we say, not his strong suit. Overall, Luna has bought into a lot of the Keepers' ideas. But Luna also likes Matt and is loyal to the other Lost Boys, so he joins in when the boys take over the facility.