13 year old Matt lives in a world where going over your family credit limit can have serious consequences, but Matt's family is not worried. Their father has a great job, and the family spends and spends. One day, on a shopping spree, Matt's mother is informed that she has gone over their limit, and soon the government authorities come pick up Matt to make him work off the family's debt.
This fast-paced middle grade novel has such an interesting premise, and addresses the problem of runaway spending that many consumers engage in well. Matt's parents are portrayed as very, very silly. They buy expensive items they don't need and never check their account balances even though they know that going over the limit could mean that their children are taken away from them. They both have such a serious shopping addiction that they can't stop even after Matt is taken away.
Matt has other worries. Once at the government workhouse, he is installed on the "top floor" a paradise with everything he wants as long as he does his (difficult) work and never leaves. Matt is a math genius, so it's no ditch digging for him. The villian here, Ms Smoot, has a honey voice and knows that the carrot motivates more than the stick. Yet, Matt becomes suspicious when people start getting headaches and having seizures. Is something sinister afoot?
You bet! And this is a fun ride to find out what.
My rating? 3 Zombie Chickens - Well worth reading.
THE LIMIT is available in hardcover on September 7, 2010. Find out more about it on the author's website.
My debut YA novel LEVEL 2 (Simon & Schuster BFYR) is out now. My debut picture book CHICK-O-SAURUS REX (w/ Daniel Jennewein) comes out with S&S on July 23, 2013. I've been blogging about books since April 2008.