Genre: Futuristic/Survival Fiction
# of Pages: 225
Charley lives in Meritropolis where everyone is judged on their merit and given a score. He has an unnaturally high score of 118. He loathes the system, however, because when he was 8 his only brother was taken away and put outside the gates to die simply because he had Down Syndrome and therefore had a low score. He has been plotting his revenge since. Every time a person is put outside the gates every adult is required to go to the gate ceremony to watch. At Charley’s first one they led a little girl with a disability to the gates and he went crazy and started fighting the guards. He was eventually overtaken, but due to his high number he was not sent outside the gates as punishment. Instead, they put his best friend out there to remind him of who is really in charge. At that point Charley started plotting how he can take down the system.
This book seems very simple at first, but touches on many important issues in any society. For example, the sick and elderly are discussed quite often and how “valuable” they are in society. There are different views on this throughout the book from different characters. There are also hunger issues, which is a terrible problem in all societies. Some people get a lot while others barely get by. Finally, even abortion is touched on. The main character is strong and not afraid to speak up and could be a great literary hero for reluctant boy readers. The plot is full of unanswered questions, some interesting revelations, and lots of action. Recommended for fans of survival fiction.