who are these children?
April 22, 2008 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Yet another what-is-this-book/story question (sci-fi, possibly young adult, writen pre-1983)

This, I think, is a novel and not a short story and either was YA sci-fi or at least an adult book appropriate for 11 year-olds.

It's a dystopian future society and there are children who don't live in families (and possibly made to labor) who escape or try to escape from their situation. The thing I remember best is that their first names began with the same letter if they were the same age. (like Anns would be a year older than Benjamins) I think the main boy character was an "E" and there was a "J" girl.

Does anyone else remember this?

At my small elementary school before they built the cafeteria, we would eat in our rooms and our teachers would sometimes read aloud to us. This was one of those books and it would have been read to us in the early 80's. I will be embarrassed but relieved if it is something obvious.
posted by pointystick to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are there aliens? Tripedal, pyramid-shaped aliens?
posted by zippy at 3:31 PM on April 22, 2008

Response by poster: Zippy, I have no idea about aliens but I wouldn't rule it out.
posted by pointystick at 4:30 PM on April 22, 2008

Zippy was teasing about the books: "The White Mountains", "The City of gold and lead", and "The pool of fire" by Christopher Samuel Youd writing under the pseudonym John Christopher. As far as I remember the names of the children do not start with the same letter according to their age group (protagonist: Will Parker).
posted by mmkhd at 4:39 PM on April 22, 2008

H.M.Hoover had a bunch of YA and children's sci fi books in the 70s and 80s that feature boy-girl teams of kids who have to escape from some dystopian situation or other. Children of Morrow or This Time of Darkness come to mind. I can't remember offhand if all kids of a certain age have the same name.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:24 PM on April 22, 2008

Ok, I think it's This Time of Darkness, about trying to escape from an underground city. That link should take you to the Amazon "search inside this book" for the second page of the novel, which describes a "learning center" with all A-named students.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:30 PM on April 22, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, LobsterMitten. That's a possibility, but I don't remember Amy & Axel. I might order it just to see. It might be another of Hoover's books.
posted by pointystick at 7:23 PM on April 22, 2008

It does sound familiar, though...
Logan's Run has this kind of thing; Brave New World has something broadly similar, but both seem dark for fifth grade.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:47 PM on April 22, 2008

I don't suppose it was Anthem?
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 12:49 AM on April 23, 2008

Response by poster: No Mutant Enemy and LobsterMitten, it wasn't those but eerily similar - like Anthem or Brave New World Junior!

A friend and fellow mefite remembers this too, but can add no more details except that the kids may have been on a farm or something for part of the book.
posted by pointystick at 2:46 AM on April 23, 2008

I strongly suspect you are talking about "The Girl who owned a City."

Which is funny because I posted an ask mefi question to recall the title as well.
posted by adamkempa at 7:45 AM on April 24, 2008

Response by poster: Adamkempa, I can't tell from teh LookInside on Amazon, but it's a possibility - I will check it out!
posted by pointystick at 2:16 PM on April 24, 2008

It looks like Girl who owned a city was published in 1995, though - maybe that's a later edition?
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:58 PM on April 24, 2008

it MIGHT be The Giver by Lois Lowrey. Dystopian society, kids getting assigned jobs at a young age, kid trying to escape, MAYBE same first initial thing. I'm at work so i cant check my copy.
posted by silverstatue at 7:52 AM on April 28, 2008

Response by poster: Solverstatue, I love The Giver and that isn't the book, alas.
posted by pointystick at 12:17 PM on April 28, 2008

Response by poster: Silverstatue, sorry about mangling your name.
posted by pointystick at 12:17 PM on April 28, 2008

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