Middle Grade Book Club — Futureland: Battle For The Park (day 3)By: Cheryl Long
Middle Grade Book Club – Futureland: Battle For The Park (day 3)
“What we really want as parents is for our babies to have enough freedom to find their own purpose. To live for themselves and make their dreams come true. If you have a dream, you have to follow it, Cam.”
Welcome to the third and final installation of our read-along of Futureland: Battle For The Park by H.D. Hunter.
Reminder that this will be a SPOILER FILLED discussion for Chapters 16 through the end of the story. 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 Three: Chapters 16-end
The story continues... and things are going from bad to worse.
With Southmore as the head of the board, he will be able to make huge decisions and changes to the park without anyone being able to stop him!
Convening with his friends the next day at school, the group come up with a plan to expose Southmore, who they know is at the centre of everything: the Futureland hacking, pretend parents and missing kids. But before they can implement it, they learn that Cam’s Uncle Trey has been arrested for the kidnapping of the two missing children! Furthermore, the mayor of Atlanta is now launching an investigation into the park. If they deem it unsafe (which is highly likely at this point) they will give ADRC control of Futureland to “do whatever they need to do with it”.
It all makes sense now. Southmore wants to sabotage the image of the park so he and his company can gain control over it and its technology, namely, the revs. Which he can then repurpose, sell to consumers, and make a fortune. After following Dooley to an abandoned warehouse, Cameron learns even more of Southmore’s plan: having abducted Dooley in the past, he reprogrammed her to follow his commands (likely the rev in the interviews sprinkled throughout the book). He not only plans to resell revs, but wants to create an exclusive “Future City” by demolishing low income neighbourhoods in Atlanta and using Futureland technology to make a highly sophisticated, technologically advanced city for the wealthy. He then gives Dooley the command to “dispose of the kids.”
Southmore had been keeping Uncle Trey in this building until he framed him for kidnapping but the location of Cam’s parents and the two missing kids is still uncertain. Until Cam has an idea - what if they were being kept at the park in plain site? Infinite hiding spaces and no one would expect it! Later that night Rich and Cam break into the park (now surrounded by police and investigators) to test out his theory. But Dooley is warning Cam off and communicating to him through the future-goggles that she has to stop them. She abducts Rich while they are searching Wonder Worlds, but she says a phrase that Cameron takes as a clue to check a special section of the park —The Realm of Realities, where time can be adjusted to go slower than real time. He was right! He finds his parents, Rich and the kids!!
It’s time to stop Southmore once and for all. Cam and his parents determine if they can reset the park back to opening night, they can gain control back over the malfunctioning revs and systems, Cameron just needs to grab the override codes from their condo. Dodging police and rogue Rev’s he is able to get the codes and enter them into a tablet for the core park settings. But he is soon set upon by Dooley, Woody, rogue revs, and Southermore. Much chaos and fighting ensues over the tablet that hasn’t finished uploading, and it seems hopeless because Dooley (even if she wants to help Cam) cannot go against Southmore’s programming.
Until Cam has an idea, imitating Southmore’s voice, he commands Dooley to resume the total park reset —and she does! With the reset complete the rev’s return to normal and turn on Southmore… when the dust clears Southmore and Woody have disappeared.
Cam is a hero, the kids are reunited with their parents, and Futureland takes some time off to fix what is broken. Unfortunately, that cannot include Dooley. As per orders, all revs involved in the uprising need to be decommissioned and Dooley’s programming was too corrupted to save. She sacrificed herself to save her friend.
Our story ends on Cameron’s birthday, December 20th. Cam reminisces about Dooley, before meeting up with his parents to reopen the park, on what has now been deemed Dooley Day. He then spends a very “normal” birthday with his new friends.
The end! For now...
- Phew! That was quite the ride! What are your overall thoughts on the novel?
- Are you Science Fiction movie fan? Do you have a favorite that features AI? (Mine is Mitchell’s vs the Machines)
- I always appreciate a Middle Grade novel that brings together adventure and conversations on important, real world issues. What are your thoughts on the included heavier topics touched upon in this novel: gentrification and the 1980s Atlanta murders and missing children?