Friday, January 7, 2011

The Limit by Kristen Landon

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.

Kristen Landon's The Limit brings the popular dystopian thriller genre to a middle grade audience.

Interesting look into what could be the future. And as usual, I was really frustrated with the abuse of power some leaders use.
In the future every family has a spending limit, some more than others. If the family goes over the limit, the government takes a child from the family to work off their debt in a workhouse. After the family goes below the limit the child can go home.
Except one place is using the kids to make money.
The story follows Matt as he goes from spoiled kid to becoming a leader and being more financially responsible. 
The characters were well-developed. The scenes were descriptive as well as the surroundings. The pacing is great.
The shudders I felt from too much government involvement came from Ms. Landon's great tensions and motivators for the characters. Having the government control our spending makes me *shudder*
Is this book propaganda? Good question. If this book falls into the hands of younger teens, maybe it will help them spend more wisely. Is that a bad thing??
This is perfect book for middle grades and up. The main character is thirteen years old but acts and thinks older.

Rating: G
S: None
V: Bad guys
L: None

Page 69 test:
"Boys on this side, girls on the other.' Honey Lady pointed briefly as she power-walked toward the other side of the top floor. She seemed to be in a big hurry all of a sudden. "Now, if I can just find some of our other Top Floors to drop you off with, we'll be all set." Pausing in front of a glass door with a metal bar across the middle, she turned to me, her all-business face morphing into the super-sweet, sugar-coated one. "I just know you're gong to love this room." She reached a long-nailed finger out to poke me in the shoulder-attempting playfulness, I guess. "It's a favorite with our Top Floors."

As she pushed through the door-and pulled me after her-a soft wave of warm wet air wrapped around us. No way. A swimming pool? Inside a building? On the top floor? The pool had a diving board and a big slide that curved a couple of times on the way down. A raised hot tub sat in the far corner, spilling a waterfall into the pool. This was beyond amazing. The entire ceiling and the outside wall were pure windows. Even though the sun was starting to set, the room sparkled with light. There were even girls here, wearing bathing suits! Wait until I told the guys back home about this. They'd all beg their parents to go over their limits.
"Miss Smoot. Hi, Miss Smoot!" Three girls who looked close to my age climbed out of the pool and ran over to Honey Lady.

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