In a future where children are segregated into institutions that range from comfortable 'Learning Communities' to prison-like 'Local Academies', 17-year-old Jackson is an academic high flyer, living in a top Learning Community and destined for a position in the Leadership. But when he is sent with his best friend Wilson to deliver a package to a factory block, the two boys are attacked leaving Jackson badly beaten and Wilson dead. Confused and upset, Jackson returns to his Learning Community only to be dismissed by his teachers who claim not to know him. Sent to an Academy, Jackson finds himself immersed in a world that couldn't be further removed than the one he's used to.
Simon & Schuster, Limited