Henry Holt & Company: The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

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Landscape with Invisible Hand

When the vuvv land in the middle of Wrigley Field, humans initially feel lucky they haven't been invaded: instead of violence, the extraterrestrial creatures offer to "end all work forever and cure all disease." Unfortunately, once they sell their "tech" to Earth's wealthiest, most people around the globe lose their jobs. The "captains of industry" with investments in vuvv firms thrive but, for the rest of humanity, only those who work with the vuvv personally (even in lowly jobs) can get by.

In high school senior Adam Costello's neighborhood, almost everyone is unemployed. Adam and new girlfriend Chloe decide to allow the vuvv (who don't experience romantic love but find it fascinating) to pay to watch them go on dates. Unsurprisingly, Adam and Chloe grow to hate each other, but they're trapped, dependent on the income.

M.T. Anderson (Feed; Symphony for the City of the Dead) has written a biting satire about the world's haves and have-nots, set in an increasingly stratified near-future where the human race has, for the most part, become expendable. It's a strange and wonderful fantasy about seeking love amid the filth, and keeping hope alive, despite unquestionable odds against it. --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI