What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this near-future dystopian novel features a lively debate about freedom of expression and forcefully dramatizes the sort of alienation that can occur when private citizens are under near-constant surveillance. There is also some profanity and sexuality.
What's the story?
In Somerton, MA, your future is determined by your score. By placing smart-cams throughout the community, Score Corp keeps track of students' every move, adding or subtracting points for approved or forbidden behavior. Imani LeMonde is a 92 and a semester away from high school graduation, but her friendship with Cady, a 72, threatens to drag down her score and disrupt her plans for college. Even more problematic is Imani's relationship with her study partner Diego McLune, a brilliant but unscored student who believes Score Corp and its practices are pernicious. Can Imani be true to herself, family, and friends, or must she sacrifice her integrity and privacy in the name of upward mobility?
Is it any good?
This near-future dystopian novel smartly explores the implications of near-constant surveillance and the willingness of some people to trade privacy for the illusion of upward mobility. In a recession-raddled society where being a member of the middle class no longer guarantees employment, students compete for scores that supposedly measure their merit as citizens. McLaughlin presents a chilling but nuanced picture of conformity run amok and raises important questions about freedom of expression.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether achieving high scores on standardized tests is a true measure of intellectual merit.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having nearly every public interaction recorded by digital technology? How might such a system be abused?
Scored is set only a few years in the future. What current trends might lead to a time when high school students are monitored by spy cams and receive scores based on their behavior?