Wednesday, March 7, 2012

All Good Children

by Catherine Austen

Imagine a world where kids don't talk back to their parents, eat their vegetables without complaint, and are completely devoted to the success of society as a whole.  What used to be the stuff of horror movies is quickly becoming Max's life.  It all starts with a shot. A shot they say is just to keep you healthy, but instead it turns you into a zombie with no ambition but to listen and obey.  Max has watched all his friends turn into these robots, and by pure luck has tricked the system into believing he has had the shot.  But his small acts of rebellion are betraying the fact that he still has feelings, that he is an individual still.  He's not sure how much longer he can hold on.  If it is even worth holding on any more.

All Good Children is a story about the dangers of too much societal control.  How much is too much?  Security cameras might prevent crime, but when do they intrude too much into personal issues.  Mobile devices might help us keep in touch with friends, but when they are used to track your every move and see what information you are looking up is it worth the price? The book examines the problems of too much control, and the ease with which people might adapt to a more 'perfect' society, forgetting the costs that make this 'perfection' possible.  It's definitely a good read for any tween into conspiracy theories or those who like books about good intentions spun out of control.

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age level: 8th Grade

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