ALL GOOD CHILDREN
What if all the children in school were good little children? They followed the rules. They were quiet and obedient. That would be fantastic, right? Or would it? What if they never laughed or cheered at a football game, like normal kids do? It might seem great at first, but if my children were perfect, I’d get a bit worried.
Author Catherine Austen’s MG/YA novel, ALL GOOD CHILDREN, is set in a future world where parents have children that are known as “freebies,” “best of threes,” or “the ultimate” depending on how they’re conceived. If a family has enough money, they can keep at it until they get the perfect embryo. Something strange is happening in New Middletown, however. The kids in grades one and two are acting weird, and ninth and tenth grade students are due to be vaccinated and will soon act like perfect little angels too. Fifteen-year-old Max Conners doesn’t want the shot because everyone that gets it changes into what he and his friend Dallas call “zombies.” Ally, his six-year-old sister who already had the vaccination is proof. But what can a teen do to stop the insanity?
ALL GOOD CHILDREN paints a disturbing picture of authority gone wild, taking extreme measures to control children and teens, under the pretense of improving their behavior so they can learn better. Yeah, if you want little robots that obey instructions without an original thought in their heads. The author has created characters that are so real I wanted to help them face each challenge. Ms. Austen also adds a touch of humor to give the characters and the reader hope. I recommend ALL GOOD CHILDREN for school libraries, as well as public libraries and your own personal library. This is a story you will remember for a long time.