Landon, Kristen. The Limit
Aladdin see Simon Schuster 2010 304p 15.99
978-1-4424-0271-3 ms/hs Realistic Fiction VG-BN
Matt must find a way to help his family curb its spending in this futuristic novel. When Matt is locked up in a government facility for children who have been seized to work off their family’s debt, he must be smarter than his supervisors and find out why his fellow workers are getting sick.
Not only for its unique plot, but also for its universal theme, The Limit is a book that qualifies as Book of Note. The basic conflict of world debt combined with ever-increasing, unchecked spending has created the need for the government to take control over the spending of its citizens. When a family overspends, the government sends out a representative to pick up a young family member to work off the debt to society. When Mom’s credit card is rejected at the supermarket, she commands her 3 children to get into the family car, and they speed home. Nobody is surprised when Matt, the oldest, is picked up by “Honey Lady”, a sweet-talking government official who is in charge of the local center, and taken to his new home. Due to Matt’s unusually high test scores, he is placed on the top floor where he will do research for the government. There, along with his new friends, he finds himself unable to contact his family or friends. He is basically in lock down. On the other hand, he has unlimited spending ability, or so he thinks. Unbeknownst to all of the teenagers, their purchases are monitored and added to the debt already facing their families, making them virtual prisoners forever! Matt becomes concerned when many of his coworkers show symptoms such as seizures and migraines. At that time, he takes charge, hacks into the computer system, foils the guards and Honey Lady, and saves his family from perpetual debt. Kristen Landon tells her story with characters that are believable, a plot that has the requisite number of twists and turns and a theme of teen empowerment that is sure to please all readers, both male and female. The book is relevant and believable. This book is perfect for the middle school reader who will learn about a society in which teens must pay the piper for parents who have ruined the family budget. Squaresky, Martha
Matt must work off his parents’ debt to society