Book Received: Jan 11 2011
By: Kristen Landon
Published by: Aladdin
Genre: Pages: 304
An eighth grade girl was taken today . . .
With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn’t let up for a moment. In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next, but quickly dismisses the thought. After all, his parents are financially responsible, unlike the parents of those other kids. As long as his parents remain within their limit, the government will be satisfied and leave them alone. But all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push Matt’s family over their limit—and to change his reality forever.
I liked this book. It was different and interesting. The premise: that in the near future the government will set spending limits on families is both believable and scary. If you looked at my updates on Goodreads, you would notice that I said the book took a little bit to get used to. What I meant was, it felt as though it had been written by a teen, not necessarily an adult. It really took me about 70 pages to get used to the flow and writing style. That’s fine though, since this book is aimed for YA (middle school aged children) I think the writing style would be a big plus. I liked the story, and found most of the characters to be believable and really likable. I did find that I did not like the ending. I just didn’t find it plausible.
I was very disappointed in the actual end of the story. The Swat team/fbi characters were illustrated as total loafs. Duh-dun-duh-dummmm… I also did not think the ending was plausible at all. If something like that had really happened, the facility would not have still be “running” afterwards. They wouldn’t have just replaced Mrs Smoot, she was only following directives. The entire program would have been shut down. The kids would have been sent home and the program disbanded.
I did like this book, and would recommend it to middle school children who enjoyed suspense, adventure, and child triumph stories. 🙂
*On the side: I was really excited to receive this book and hoped that Sis (age 10) and I would read it together. I failed in getting her to read it with me because she said it was too scary. She didn’t like that kids get kidnapped. So, I am unable to add her thoughts on this book. As a parent of an “advanced” child (she is 4th grade working on a 7th grade level) I am finding it very hard to find books that will “challenge” her at all that she is actually interested in. She loves those little Judy Moody books, and of course Dear Dumb Diary. My problem with those type books is that she reads them in about an hour, I would love to find some books that she not only loves but that will challenge her a little. If you have any suggestions for books to try with her, please comment below.
**On the side 2: Bub (age 14) is reading this book. I will add his thoughts here when he finishes.
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