Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
The Limit by Kristen Landon

Book Summary

Matt lives in a society in the not-too-distant future. Families, school, and hobbies look similar to some present-day cultures. Each family is given a spending limit, and if families exceed that amount, the oldest child is sent to a work house until the debt is re-paid. When Matt's family goes over the limit, Matt is sent to a work house and tested to find out what kind of work would be best suited for him. His cell phone and email don't work, so he is cut off from his family and friends. Will he ever be able to work hard enough to get his family under the limit?
The Limit book cover
The Limit

Book Review

This book will appeal to many readers. Matt's work assignment includes some luxury perks, including a pool and a gym, so there is an interesting dynamic of being on vacation, even while unsettling things are happening. The book is fast-paced and includes a little romance and a fair bit of action. Many of the children are shown to be more responsible and well-intentioned than adults. Although it lacks the depth of books like The Giver, it offers discussion opportunities about financial responsibility, fair consequences, and what an ideal society might look like.

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Right. Like what's in the kid's best interest matters to anyone in the government."
          p. 63

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Fair Consequences
  • Financial Responsibilities
  • How Kids Deal with Irresponsible Adults
  • Conspiracies
  • What Makes a High-Quality Life?

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

1) Do Matt's parents love their children? Do his parents do a good job taking care of their children? What is the difference between love and good care?

2) What are the advantages and disadvantages of living on the top floor with Honey Lady in charge?

3) Is it fair to require parents, children, or other family members to work off debt that is not their own? How should debt be handled?

4) If people can afford it, do you think it's okay for them to spend whatever they want? Why? If people can't afford basic needs like food, shelter, and medicine, what should happen? Does anyone else have a responsibility to pay for those things to help those people? Why?

5) What flaws did you notice in the government system in The Limit?

6) What secret plot do Matt and other characters uncover? Had you predicted this, or a different kind of plot before you finished the end? Was the ending satisfying?

7) What did you learn from this book, or think about in a new way?

**Questions coming soon**

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