All Good Children
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All Good Children

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  841 ratings  ·  164 reviews
It's the middle of the twenty-first century and the elite children of New Middletown are lined up to receive a treatment that turns them into obedient, well-mannered citizens. Maxwell Connors, a fifteen-year-old prankster, misfit and graffiti artist, observes the changes with growing concern, especially when his younger sister, Ally, is targeted. Max and his best friend, D...more
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Orca Book Publishers (first published January 1st 2011)
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All Good Children by Catherine AustenThe Way We Fall by Megan CreweDark Inside by Jeyn RobertsWitchlanders by Lena CoakleyGetting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
White Pine Nomination 2013
1st out of 10 books — 23 voters
Divergent by Veronica RothThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenCinder by Marissa MeyerLegend by Marie LuThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2012 YALSA Teen's Top Ten Nominations
73rd out of 198 books — 355 voters


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Community Reviews

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Stephanie
My Summary: Life hasn't been what you'd call 'easy' for Max - ever since his father died three years ago, his mother, his sister, and himself have been forced to uproot their lives. Going from being filthy rich to just scraping by, Max is pretty angry about the way his life is - especially because people in New Middletown treat him like he's worthless now. Max strikes back with his art - sprawling graffiti scenes painted on every surface that will hold paint. Most would call him a trouble-maker,...more
Cait
ALL GOOD CHILDREN by Catherine Austen has reminded me of what I want and like in a dystopian story, and delivered it with heart-pounding intensity that left me turning the pages long into the early morning when I should have been sleeping. It isn’t even the action in the book that’s so crazy; it’s the calm way events are accepted – no, wanted – by the majority of Middletown, and the anxiety being felt by those who are daring to oppose the system.

As someone who teaches elementary school kids day...more
Christina Vasilevski
I bought this book about a week before the official release date because the author took part in Toronto's Word on the Street festival. Her reading of some of the opening text in conjunction with her explanation of how, after writing children's books for many years, she realized she was a closet dystopian fiction junkie sold me on the book.

Max is a gifted but rambunctious teenager living in one of the few safe havens after an unspecified economic and ecologic collapse in the 20th Century. Now, m...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
Wow I did not know what to expect going into this story but was completely blown away with this book. Ok so I admit that through parts of it I was wondering where the story may be leading, the side characters became a little flat for me. But after finishing the story I realized that of course when people are being drugged to "behave" that of course they are going to become flat characters. Once this realization hit and I looked back over the story, color me impressed! I really enjoyed the idea,...more
Kathy
I rather enjoyed this book about Max and his friends. They live in New Middletown, a company town of the great chemical company, Chemrose. Chemrose has developed a new shot that creates incredibly obedient, well behaved children. True, it's still rather experimental, but all the adults seem determined to believe it's the best thing since sliced bread. It intrieged me to see the early developement of a society, like that in BRAVE NEW WORLD or THIS PERFECT DAY, that so relied on its citizens takin...more
Bailey
Rating: 3.5 stars

Yes, children from the ages 5-18 can be wild, and staff at school often have difficulty controlling us, but when it comes to how they control us, how far is too far? Max and his younger sister miss the first week of school, so when they come back they have no idea what happened. The children act strange at the elementary school. They are more obedient, more studious. Are they still themselves? And even more important, how did they become this way?

The premise of this story is lik...more
Jessica
This book was just okay. I liked the writing style. It is very comfortable and natural, written in a convincing voice that I felt represented a fifteen-year-old boy realistically. I didn't really connect very strongly with any of the characters, though. I felt like most of the focus of this book was on teenage angst and antics rather than character or plot, which is what I'm most interested in when I sit down to read a book. As mentioned, this author does a good job of convincingly and realistic...more
Jen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lawral
All Good Children is a great book. The world that Austen has created really is a whole lot like ours could be in, oh, 50 years (or less). The majority of the population is desperately poor and living in cars they cannot afford to fuel. The (what we now call) middle class minority works in some capacity with the booming elder care industry. Everyone has an RIG that connects them constantly to entertainment, work, communication, whatever (ie, it's what iPad aspires to be). A chemical spill has cre...more
Rachel Seigel
This was a really well-written and thought provoking dystopian novel. I love the fact that the narrator is male, and he's got a really great voice. Intelligent, thoughtful and a bit of a smart-alek. I also like the way the friendship between him and Dallas- his best friend is drawn. There is enough background given to understand the world, but the actual story starts pretty quickly and is believeably creepy. While it doesn't end precisely on a nail-biting cliff-hanger, there is certainly an indi...more
Amber
This was a good read.

If you like dystopian fiction, like The Giver, then this will strike the same sort of nerve.

It's not too heavy (for dystopian fiction), but it does make you think. The possibility of it might even scare you.

Although, I refuse to believe that all parents would happily go along with the "treatment". Really, Max only knew 3 adults who were obviously not happy about the treatment. I kept thinking that Celeste must be upset about what happened to Xavier, but she seemed totally ok...more
Miss
i did not think i was going to like this book! i was wrong :D

ya's been overflowing with dystopia lately. the government bans love, the government controls your career, the government is extremely invested in your romance. some of these are better than others! what's been missing in quite a few though is the thing i like best in dystopias: the feeling that what happens could be a plausible development out of our existing society

basically i follow the definition of dystopias should be our world th...more
Sarah
A good YA dystopian novel about life in a "perfect" town after an epidemic of flu that has killed millions.

I found the plot interesting, although predictable. Just once, I'd like it to be the perfect child who saves the day - not the rebel.
Tanya
One of scariest stories I've read in a long time. I couldn't slow down reading it and now I'm sad it's over. The characters feel so real
Debbie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jasmyn
Max, Ally and his mother live in a city called Middleton. Middleton is one of the few places left in the US with a decent school system, safe streets, healthy people, and little crime. But the administrators of Middleton think it could be even better. What if they found a way to get rid of misbehavior in children. Now, we're not talking about just the big ones like arson and fighting, but even the little ones, like giggling in class and expressing an opinion. As this is slowly taking effect on t...more
Kathy
This book was in my summer reading pile but it got lost on my night stand table. I just discovered it a week ago again and decided to read it at the hockey arena. Thank goodness it was a practice because I could not put it down!

The story is dystopian with the angle that children need to be controlled in order to have a productive society. In order to control the children, they need to be "vacinated" with a drug that will alter their state of mind. No longer are children running wild in the playg...more
Halli Lilburn
Best Book of 2011: All Good Children by Catherine Austen
New Middleton’s children are becoming frightfully obedient and their parents and teachers couldn’t be happier. Something is wrong. Max, our delinquent yet loveable rebel cannot allow himself to become another zombie and he’ll do anything to prevent it.
All teens have got issues, but within their brains amazing things happen. Mood swings and rebellion are accompanied with creativity and innovation. This book describes the thoughts and feeling...more
Gmr
Dec 08, 2011 Gmr rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adult fiction fans
Recommended to Gmr by: LibraryThing
Can you imagine? A world where creativity is frowned upon and everyone is expected to simply line up, take their assignment and live life as they are told? Nah...never happen...right? I wouldn't be so sure. The world introduced by Ms. Austen isn't so far fetched. I mean, there are advantages to what they were trying to introduce....a more manageable society with potentially less crime and people living up to their supposed potentials. Not so bad.....well, except for that "supposed" part. I mean,...more
Karen
I loved this book! From the minute I picked it up I just wanted to keep reading.

This is a dystopian novel about a family that lives in a well to do community. But with living in a well to do community comes with a price and that price is the 'vaccinations' the schools start giving to the students...but for what, do you ask?

Well, you tell me...Soon after getting these vaccines the students lose all emotion and personality. All of a sudden they are well behaved and say exactly the right thing. But...more
Brian
well, i had no idea what this book was when i started it and figured it would be one that i read the first few pages and then delete it. thats right, i kind of almost actually read this book! (i read it on the kindle instead of audiobook that has been the recent rage.)

anyway, it was pretty gripping. i dont recall what year it was set it, but the future outlook of a united states that has devolved into fiefdom's based around geriatric centers and corporations seems plausible. walled communities w...more
Shelley Daugherty
Maxwell Connors lives in New Middletown in the future. The United States has become divided and he lives in the better part of this world where education is still possible, and freedom comes at a premium. There are security cameras everywhere to keep track of all the citizens of Middletown and the school is no exception. But keeping watch over the citizens is the least of the ideas in this town; the powers-that-be want complete control...mind control.

Max first notices the strange behavior of the...more
Sheri
This is a dystopian futuristic novel about mind control. It evokes some thoughts of Nazi Germany (how can the adults just go along with things and not protest) and underground railroad slave issues. It is entertaining and compelling for young readers.

Despite some minor inconsistencies (they are in an academic school that doesn't care about football and so there is no money spent on the sport...but they get Friday afternoons off before the game?; Ally who is supposed to be dumb figures out the v...more
Hylary Locsin
Originally posted on my blog: http://libraryladyhylary.blogspot.com ! Check it out for more reviews!

In the not-too-distant future, rebellious teen Max Connors lives in the city of New Middleton, one of the many planned communities designed to ensure prosperity and happiness for its residents. Succeeding in New Middleton, however, depends on a lot of factors: wealth, status, and genetic makeup. Children born without any kind of genetic treatment are looked down upon; those of higher status having...more
Maria Kramer
Max and his family are lucky. They live in New Middleton, one of the few safe communities left in the country, and their mother has a job that pays enough for them to have a real apartment. But something is starting to go very, very wrong in New Middleton. It started with the first-graders -- children who were too well-behaved, too obedient, children who don't play, or laugh, or sing anymore, children who are shells of themselves. As Max finds out, the schools are vaccinating all the students wi...more
Lina
Jan 16, 2013 Lina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Oh how I like me some interesting Dystopian fiction. I like it even more when said Dystopia is caused by chemical corporations. And Catherine Austen gets double points for the portrayal of a teenage boy that well, feels like a teenage boy.

But I get ahead of myself. Maxwell Connors lives in New Middletown with his mother and sister. New Middletown is centered around Old folk homes, which are big business in the future. Built, owned and managed by Chemrose. The people who live in New Middletown ar...more
Zanib  Sajjad
Honestly, my review will do this book no justice. In fact, I should have written this review a long time ago, just never got around to it. Which is weird because I loved this book. Now, I'm not talking about the liked, love. I'm talking about the loved, loved. It is one of those novels that will bring tears to your eyes because of its ferocious writing style. Its power dripping in all the words, and oh, all the emotions. You guys noticing how I'm using all the italics? I can't emphasise my point...more
Sandra Stiles
In the town of New Middletown things aren't what they seem. The children have undergone "The New Education Support Treatment". Now the kids are obedient. If I can say this, they are too obedient". My husband laughed when I told him I had a few students that could use a little bit of the treatment. Max comes across as quite rebellious at times. I was reminded (due to my advanced age) of the movie "The Stepford Wives". If you are too young to remember this movie then I would suggest you look it up...more
Rosie (prosesroses)
In the near-future-dystopian of our world, Fifteen year old Max is luckily "spared" as he misses his first week of school and "vaccinations" to attend an out of town funeral. When he comes back he starts to witnesses something strange happening to children in his corporate-made and -sponsored city, New Middleton. A burgeoning medical totalitarian control of children is taking over much to Max's horror.

As the vaccinations take their effect on the children (18 and younger), Max starts to see the...more
Deborah
The three main aspects of any story are character, setting, and plot. All three were presented wonderfully. Max, his mom, his little sister Ally, his friends, his neighbors, and even his bully are all strong, clear figures. Even those who are only in a few scenes are well written and believable. Max is a great balance between a sweet boy and a mischievous teenager, teasing his sister but more than ready to defend her when needed.

One real strength of the setting is vocabulary. After reading the...more
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3098906
I grew up in Kingston, Ontario. I studied political science at Queen's University and environmental studies at York before moving to the Ottawa area to work in the conservation movement. I now write freelance (reports as well as books) from my home in Quebec, where I live with my husband and two sons. I love wildlife, music, museums, and books and I'm grateful that my life is full of all of these....more
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“...it saddens me that she has to grow up and make friends with humans. I hear the future coming for her. Stomp, stomp, stomp.” 2 likes
“I can do it, Max. I still have my thoughts. I just can't say them out loud. I still have my friends. I just can't show them. I still have all the things that used to matter. They're inside of me. They can't take that away.” 2 likes
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