This one's another of the young adult novels on my list. I do love the idea of dystopian fiction for preteens. I just wish it was all as amazing and worthwhile as, for instance, A Wrinkle in Time. But it ain't. Not to say I wouldn't give this to a middle schooler, because I would. The time to let them know that society will use them up and shackle them to their work is when they're still young enough to wind up paranoid and protective, I say.
Aside from that, pretty standard fare. Agriculture-based society risen from the ashes of probably our age which probably faced a probably nuclear war? Check. Plucky, hard working hero who, through courage and luck and the kindness of otherwise downtrodden friends, figures out society's Big Evil and makes her escape to a wiser and better place? Check. Semimagical gifts that make up for an otherwise condemning defect? Check.
final thought: I should write one of these myself.