Middle Grade Book Club — Futureland: Battle For The Park (day 2)By: Cheryl Long
Middle Grade Book Club — Futureland: Battle For The Park (day 2)
“Eastside Middle’s favourite crew of misfits, at your service!”
Reminder that this will be a SPOILER FILLED discussion for Chapters 7–15. Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments by Friday, February 3rd, 2023 will be entered to win an OwlCrate Jr box!
Part Two: Chapters 7-16
The story continues...
Cameron wakes up the next morning and everything is… off. A child has gone missing from the park after closing and now he can’t find his mom, dad, Uncle Trey or Dooley! Using secret passageways to get to his Dad’s lab, he finds it in a state of complete disarray. On the desk are documents indicating immediate system updates were approved by his parents under “Operation CHAOS” that would implement new Rev behaviours and destroy many of the park’s attractions, making them scary & disturbing. Why would his parents approve this? Then Woody, his dad’s main Rev assistant, attacks him and won’t respond to voice commands!
Cameron is able to escape and races off to his Grandma’s house. He tries to explain the situation but, never being very supportive of the Futureland project to begin with, she listens with half interest. She does call Trey, who answers and reassures that everything is just fine. None of this feels right to Cam though —why wouldn’t his mom, dad or uncle respond to his calls?
The next day his grandma keeps him busy with chores. Cam still hasn’t heard from his parents… until they show up suddenly for dinner! Something is off, they are… glitchy… with odd, long pauses, calling him by different pet names, and forgetting things they’d talked about recently. They tell him that they sent his Uncle on vacation. But he was just talking to his Grandma?!
Uncertain who to turn to for help, Cam sends a message to his new friends. They meet up the next day at school, but when he tells them what is going on, they look at him strangely and no one jumps in to offer help. Feeling embarrassed, Cameron races back to Futureland. He finds Dooley, who also is acting off —expressing thoughts and emotions beyond what a Rev should be able to express. Examining her code, nothing seems amiss… until she freezes. Before he can fix her, an angry Grandma Ava appears yelling at Cam for having a girl in his room and not returning to her home after school where he is supposed to be.
Later that week, Cameron is finally able to return to Futureland and with the help of Dooley (and a surprising appearance from Yusuf) they break back into his dad’s lab - stealing papers and documents to try to figure out what is going on. Racing off to the Tree House the kids examine the papers and notice Blaise Southmore and his company, ADRC, are all over these documents and new implementations. Losing track of time, they are surprised by the sudden appearance of his parents. It’s midnight, and rather than be upset that Cam is up so late, his parents ask him and Yusuf if they want a snack? The snack is super awkward with his parents still acting so strangely and then Blaise Southmore makes an appearance! Why is he here?
We learn that Blaise Southmore and his company, the ADRC, buy old buildings cheap and put up fancy ones in their place (gentrification), but he also buys up any and all old technology. Is this why is he so interested in the Park?
After Yusuf’s help with the heist, the rest of his friends agree to pitch in. Cameron reveals that he is sure his parents are Revs. While at his friend Rich’s house, Dooley appears, warning Cam to stop investigating ADRC, and that he and his friends are in grave danger. Still unresponsive to voice commands, she informs him she’s no longer a Rev! The next day brings even more upsetting news: his “parents” announce Blaise Southmore as the new president of Futureland’s Board of Investors and another child has gone missing in Atlanta.
- Reading this story has me reminiscing about theme parks and zoos I’ve visited in the past, especially taking my daughter to visit the Panda’s at The Calgary Zoo. Do you have a favourite theme park memory? Or one you would love to visit someday?
- If you could ask H.D Hunter a question, what would it be? (Check out our live chat here where we had the chance to ask him all sorts of questions!)
- Even though this story is set in the future, it isn’t too hard to imagine Alexa becoming a primitive rev. What are your thoughts on AI in society?