In a world not much different than ours, people are divided into two classes.  In one, the rich and powerful travel by helicopter to their luxury houses and jobs.  In the other, people are stuck in hours of traffic going to and from their low level jobs – all the while breathing air poisoned by pollution.  The Test is what determines your future.  

Ann lives with her parents in the low level class.  Her parents leave hours before they have to be at work because it takes so long to get there in the traffic.  Her father works as a health care giver to some people that live in an apartment building owned by one of the most powerful men in the country.  The apartment building is in terrible shape and in constant disrepair.  When Ann’s father starts to tell the occupants to withhold rent until their apartments are fixed, things begin to get dangerous.

Ann starts to see a mysterious man on a motorcycle bearing a weird logo on her way to and from school and when he begins to threaten her, she decides to figure out what is going on.  She finds out things are more connected than she ever thought and that the Test is at the center of everything.

THE TEST by William Sleator is a good story.  With how testing is viewed in our public schools today, it is interesting to see an author’s view of what could happen if we let testing get out of control.  The one weakness I can see with this book is the ending.  It almost seemed like Sleator ran out of time and had to turn in the manuscript before he could wrap things up properly.

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