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In a future London, Concentr8 is a prescription drug intended to help kids with ADD. Soon every troubled teen is on it. It makes sense, doesn't it? Keep the undesirable elements in line. Keep people like us safe from people like them. What's good for society is good for everyone.
Troy, Femi, Lee, Karen, and Blaze have been taking Concentr8 as long as they can remember. They're not exactly a gang, but Blaze is their leader, and Troy has always been his quiet, watchful sidekick - the only one Blaze really trusts. They're not looking for trouble, but one hot summer day, when riots break out across the city, they find it.
What makes five kids pick a man seemingly at random - a nobody, he works in the housing department, doesn't even have a good phone - hold a knife to his side, take him to a warehouse, and chain him to a radiator? They've got a hostage but don't really know what they want or why they've done it. And across the course of five tense days, with a journalist, a floppy-haired mayor, a police negotiator, and the sinister face of the pharmaceutical industry, they - and we - begin to understand why....
This is an audiobook about how we label children. It's about how kids get lost and failed by the system. It's about how politicians manipulate them. Gripping and controversial listening for fans of Malorie Blackman and Patrick Ness.
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Uncannily real voices
Sutcliffe gets inside the experiences, anxieties and world view of young people like few other authors. In a previous book he showed brilliantly just how events can spiral out of control and end in tragedies like the murder of James Bulger.
This new book has more modern voices, dealing essentially with the shocking growth in the use of drugs like Ritalin ostensibly prescribed to deal with attention deficit disorders, but increasingly used simply to make kids more manageable. The plot takes the problem and expands it in the context of deprived teenagers and shows where these practices might lead. The narration brought the characters alive for me.
This is an important book.