From the critically-acclaimed author of the international bestseller VOX comes a suspenseful new novel that examines a disturbing near future where harsh realities follow from unreachable standards.
It’s impossible to know what you will do…
Every child's potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it's off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterwards. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy.
When your child is taken from you.
Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state's elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena's perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back.
And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.
In this disturbing dystopian tale set in the near future from Dalcher (Vox), the U.S. government has adopted a ranking system for pre college age students, dividing them into groups based on a constantly monitored quotient or Q score. The brightest attend elite schools, while those whose quotients are at the low end are taken away from their parents and bused to remote state boarding schools. The ranking system expands to adults, who are given preferential treatment in store checkout lines based on their Q scores. This nightmare is the priority for federal secretary of education Madeleine Sinclair, whose first deputy, Malcolm Fairchild, is married to a teacher, Elena Fairchild, whose offhand remark to him years before during high school led to the current system: "Wouldn't it be great if all the people we hated could carry their crappy GPAs around for life?" When Elena's nine-year-old daughter is taken away to a boarding school, Elena is forced to confront the monstrous system she's been complicit in. Dalcher combines the pace and tension of a standout thriller with thought-provoking projections of the possible end result of ranking children based on test scores. Admirers of The Handmaid's Tale will be appropriately unsettled.