Book - 2009 | First trade paperback edition.
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Charity Meyers has only 12 hours to live.

By 2035 the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and kidnapping has become a major growth industry in the United States. The children of privilege live in secure, gated communities and are escorted to and from school by armed guards.

But the security around Charity Meyers has broken down. On New Year's morning she wakes and finds herself alone, strapped to a stretcher, in an ambulance that's not moving. If this were a normal kidnapping, Charity would be fine. But as the hours of her imprisonment tick by, Charity realizes there is nothing normal about what's going on. No training could prepare her for what her kidnappers really want . . . and worse, for who they turn out to be.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2009]
Edition: First trade paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9780440421283
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Bloor
Characteristics: 247 pages ; 21 cm


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Cdnbookworm Feb 24, 2013

This book is set in the future, in 2035. Charity Meyers lives on a gated estate in Florida with her father and her ex-stepmother. Yes, you read that right. Her father and stepmother are in the process of divorcing, but her stepmother,Mickie, still lives some of the time in the family home. Mickie is a journalist specializing in telling stories, and lately she has been telling stories in which Charity plays a leading role. Right now she is doing "An Edwardian Christmas" from the decorations and songs down to the food, expecting Charity to do what she is told and respond to the prompts she is given. Charity has one friend, Patience, in her small class, taught to children of that age in the estate. She also gets classes via teleconference from Manhattan. She is not happy, and hasn't been since her mother died a few years ago of melanoma. Her father, a doctor, threw himself into work, inventing a self-tanning concoction that sells like hotcakes, attracting said stepmother.
After moving to the estate, Charity's only real comforter was the main, Victoria, a Hispanic woman, working as a servant to save money to go to college.
Kidnapping is rampant, and the children are trained in what to do. Charity has even written a paper on the subject for school. But when she is kidnapped, things don't happen as she expected, and she isn't prepared for what they really want of her.
A tale of humanity, of the growing division between classes, of ignorance and of real life. It reminds you to take the time to enjoy living.

Dec 06, 2007

This is a story of the rift between rich and poor which has become even more pronounced by 2036, the time of the novel. What good is being rich if you have to live in a virtual prison? How can the rich stand by idle while the poor have no access to health care? What about the responsibility of citizens to help each other and give back to the community for the good of the community and its members and not just because it makes good reality television? These are questions Charity must wrestle with and are also valid in today's society. Good, thought provoking stuff for teens and adults.

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