The Last Book in the Universe
The protagonist is called "Spaz," and his epilepsy keeps him from a common habit in his futuristic society--using mindprobe needles to imagine being somewhere else. Gangs rule various regions surrounding Eden, the exclusive central zone where people are genetically engineered to avoid diseases and to succeed in specific careers. Spaz embarks on a quest to see his sister, who is critically ill. His journey is complicated by various gangs, and the fact that if he is caught outside his own zone, he will be marked for cancellation.
Edgier than the Uglies trilogy, with references to mature content, this book would be well-suited for a discussion group for middle school gifted students. Students can draw many parallels between Philbrick's futuristic fictional world and our current reality.
" But I know who the real hero is, and isn't me, or even the brave Lenaya.
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