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As a kid, maybe around 1982, my parents read a book to me about a group of kids forming some kind of (cruel?) society. I cannot remember much of it; maybe my parents stopped reading because they felt the story to be inappropriate.

The story was about a group of kids, which met regularly, forming some kind of society. Maybe they even lived together; I'm not sure about that. They discovered some new form of energy/power at some place underground, not very easy to reach. In my memories it was some kind of glowing bubbles. With this form of energy, something desirable was possible. Quickly a hierarchy emerged amongst the kids; some got a lot of power due to this resource, and others were forced into a life as workers, mining more and more of this energy.

Clearly this book criticized demand for resources and inequity of modern societies. But this is something I am just concluding today. The atmosphere which made it memorable probably was some kind of immersive escapism. I remember admiring the kids in power while being scared at the same time. (However there is a lot of guessing within this section. I was 8 years old in 1982, totally impressed, because I had never heard such an immersive story.)

This book was read to me in German. However, there's a really high probability that it was a translation of an English book. At least, I'd suspect that a book good enough to stay in my mind for so long would be good enough to be translated in several languages.

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    The Gone series by Michael Grant sort of fits the description but it's far too recent. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 30 '17 at 13:38
  • Lord of the Flies is again similar in some aspects but I don't think there was any energy/power source beyond someone's glasses. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 10 '18 at 11:27

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