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Losing Normal
Francis Moss, author
Alex knows exactly how many steps it takes to get from his home to Mason Middle School. This is normal. Alex knows the answers in AP math before his teacher does, which is also normal. Alex knows that something bad is coming out of the big screen in his special needs class. It’s pushing images into his head, hurting him, making him forget. Alex pushes back, the screen explodes, and nothing is normal any more. Giant screen televisions appear all over the city. The programming is addictive. People have to watch. Alex cannot. Sophie, the sentient machine behind all this, sees the millions and millions of eyeballs glued to her and calls it love. Those, like Alex, his friend Sara, and Mr. Crumley, his friend and mentor, are immune. For Sophie, they are defective. Defectives are to be fixed or eliminated. Alex wakes up with the soothing, caring voice of Sophie in his head—along with a chip implanted to “fix” him. With Mr. Crumley’s and Sara’s help, he struggles to control it. Things fall apart. A resistance arises. ‘Wellness Camps’ are built to re-program resisters. People are being killed. Alex realizes that the only way to stop Sophie is to become one with her.

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