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The darkest minds
2012
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Summary
Book one in the blockbuster Darkest Minds series -now with key art from the major motion picture that's hitting theaters August 2018!

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America's children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

But when the truth about Ruby's abilities-the truth she's hidden from everyone, even the camp authorities-comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run, she joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp: Zu, a young girl haunted by her past; Chubs, a standoffish brainiac; and Liam, their fearless leader, who is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

While they journey to find the one safe haven left for kids like them-East River-they must evade their determined pursuers, including an organization that will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. But as they get closer to grasping the things they've dreamed of, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-When Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration broke out in the United States, most teens died, and the few who lived manifested psi powers, from telekinesis to mind control. The government, already on edge from political and economic issues, used scare tactics, misinformation, and bullying to insure that parents sent their children to government "rehabilitation" camps. Ruby was placed in Camp Thurmond at the age of 10. Once there, the youths with special powers were punished, not rehabilitated. At 16, she is liberated by the Children's League, but they, too, want to control her, and she breaks from them to join fellow escapees Liam, Chubs, and Zu. They are determined to find the Slip Kid, who is rumored to help kids reunite with their families. This ragtag foursome outfits themselves at an abandoned Walmart, fights off unfriendly youth "tribes," and begins to forge bonds of trust and romance. Ruby makes a thoughtful sacrifice, for the good of those she loves in the final chapters of the book (Hyperion, 2012), the first in a trilogy. Narrator Amy McFadden grows more comfortable with the voices as the title progresses, adding more nuance, particularly to major characters, and the proper note of teenage sarcasm. This dystopian tale will attract fans of Scott Westerfeld's "Uglies" (Simon Pulse) and Lauren Oliver's "Delirium" series (HarperCollins).-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
In the not-so-distant future, most of America's children have died; but those who live find that they have psychic abilities that range from moving objects to getting inside people's minds. Sixteen-year-old Ruby, using her powers as an Orange, has escaped the survivor facility she has lived in for six years. She has also used her abilities to make the doctors believe she is a more docile Green. Now Ruby intends to keep her secret, even from new friends, including handsome Liam, persnickety Chubs, and the mute but sweet, young Zu. This ragged band searches the Virginia countryside in hopes of finding the Slip Kid, who seems to have outsmarted the government. Instead they find trouble on almost every turn of the page, but eventually discover what seems to be a youth utopia. Bracken is skilled at ramping up the action, but there is so much going on here, it's hard to keep it all straight. Still, the character development is good, and the book's ability to tackle larger issues is solid. In the end, Ruby must make an important decision. Then it's on to book two.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
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