Review: The Limit by Kristen Landon

Almost every family has a credit card. While it’s never a good idea to go into debt or to exceed your financial budget, the repercussions of such an action are not extreme in today’s society. If you splurge on something or even need to make an emergency purchase you may have to pay extra but the cost is usually not much. Perhaps you may pay an overdraft fee or owe more in the long run but it’s not as if someone is going to come to your house and take your first born child. However in the future what might happen if you reach your limit and what might it really cost you in the end? What if it did cost you your child or what if you were taken because your family couldn’t afford to pay their debts?

Matthew Dunston never worried about being taken, after all his father made a good living and he and his sisters never had any reason to believe that someday they might exceed their family account. While his mother shopped quite a lot and their father was always playing golf they still believed that their parents always had everything under control. The Dunstons had heard of children being taken to the workhouse for family debts but they didn’t know anyone who had disappeared personally. No matter anyhow since “Matt” as his family calls him is the oldest of the Dunston children and still in middle school, if they did go over their limit the government would simply put them on “supervised spending “or some other penalty program. Everyone knows the government never takes kids under high school age to the workhouse for family debts. Until now that is.

When thirteen-year-old Matt’s family accidentally goes over “the limit”, he finds himself in the highest ranks of the workhouse program. After testing exceedingly high in his math capabilities he is sent to the “top floor”, a kids dream where he can literally have anything or do anything he wants except the one thing he wants most: to go home. However soon odd things begin to happen to the kids at the workhouse and Matt finds perhaps his family’s unfortunate luck of losing him to the government was not luck at all.

In an inventive thriller that will keep you reading non-stop until the very last page, Kristen Landon has given middle grade readers a fast paced tale that will enthrall even the most reluctant reader.  Suspense, mystery and excitement all combine to make The Limit a must read not just for kids but their parents as well. Landon details a future society that has incurred the ultimate penalty for debt: children.  Kids will enjoy reading Landon’s fearsome tale and parents may even think twice next time they go to swipe their card for that un-needed purchase.  In the end everyone will want to know what it cost the Dunston family when they went over “the limit”.

The Limit will be available on September 7, 2010. In the meantime you can go “Behind the Scenes” and check out Landon’s inspiration for her latest book.


Filed under Children's Literature, Middle Grade, New Books

9 responses to “Review: The Limit by Kristen Landon

  1. I am reading this right now! Will review it this week too, as part of dystopian August.

  2. This sounds so good and thought provoking too! What a great lesson for that age group!

  3. Wow! I’d never heard of this before, but it sounds fantastic. Such an original idea and it sounds like a lot of action. Definitely going on my wish list after your review. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. What an incredible review! I feel that you reallly understood this book and what I was trying to say. So many of the reviews I’ve read miss at least a little detail or two, but not you. I’m very impressed. Thanks so much. You made my day.

    • stilettostorytime

      Wow….Kristen…no, you made my day! Thanks so much for stopping by and I have to say: congrats on a spectacular book! I could not put it came in the mail yesterday and by the afternoon I was done and I have a one year old so you know reading is not always easy! But it was simply impossible to put down! The review will also appear on the “New York Journal of Books” site on the day of publication.

  5. This sounds like a really good discussion book. When I first started reading your review, “What if it did cost you your child or what if you were taken because your family couldn’t afford to pay their debts?”

    I was thinking, what’s new about this? It happens in 3rd world countries all the time. However, kids aren’t taken for their math skills.

    • stilettostorytime

      As always Teddy…you have made me think…I never thought about the current situations in the world that are similar…I hope you enjoy it!

  6. Pingback: Pre-Release Reviews « Kristen Landon

  7. Elizabeth

    The plot is so unique. Its interesting because this could possibly become a reality one day.I love how Kristen Landon sets Matt apart from everyone else and makes him feel like hes the only chance.

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