Bachorz, Pam. Candor
Egmont 2009 268p 8.99
978-1-60684-8, Grades 7-12, Science fiction VG
Candor is a perfect town with perfect people, all due to mind control. Oscar makes his own CDs filled with unique subliminal messages to counter the messages piped in by his dad, mayor of Candor. What lengths will he go to --to save a girlfriend? Gr. 7-12.
Candor is the perfect town with perfect people. Adults want to move there to raise the perfect family. What makes Candor so unique and crime free? It is the subliminal messages that underscore every bit of music the residents hear. Oscar, son of the city’s founder, remembers a time when he had a brother and mother. To keep those memories alive, he creates his own music with messages about his past. He even dabbles in mind control as he programs CDs for other teens who wish to escape the town. He is a bit of an entrepreneur and manages to hide his illicit food and video games. The bulk of the action centers on what happens when a new girl, Nia, moves to town and becomes his best friend until she is brainwashed into being the perfect Candor teenager. After discovering how his father deprograms anyone who shows individuality, Oscar knows he must provide a way to get Nia out of town. When his father starts to monitor Oscar’s every move with secret cameras, Oscar decides both he and Nia must flee. At times Oscar is as manipulative and self-centered as his father. The pacing is somewhat uneven, but the reader will feel compelled to finish the book to see if Oscar can rescue Nia and whether he can outsmart and overcome his father’s vision of perfection.
Grades 7-12. Recommended for middle and high school libraries for a unique look at mind control and whether the perfect community can be justified.