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I read the first book in a series some time ago (10+ years) that involved a camp of kids that evolved powers and they weren't sure why.

I remember there was some planet-eating or larger creature slowly approaching Earth, and it turned out the powers were the result of some injured protector that was preparing the children in various ways to stop the threat. Or perhaps it was to heal the protector. I'm not sure if any more in the series actually came out.

I recall one kid had a long painful transformation where at one point he was ugly but came out in the end as something like the chosen one of the protector.

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'The Silver Child' (2003) by Cliff McNish. It's the first of the 'Silver Sequence' trilogy.

From Goodreads:

Six children leave the comfort of their homes. They are drawn to Coldharbour - an eerie wasteland of wind, rats, seagulls and rubbish tips. Emily and Freda, the twins, scuttle bright eyed and insect-like in search of the others. They find Thomas on a food tip. The gentle giant boy Walter joins them and so does Helen, who can read minds. And at the centre of it all is luminous Milo, his skin hot and bright with silver.

Each of them has a unique gift, but they must learn to use their skills fast. Drawing ever closer in a maelstrom of fury is the Roar, something vast and dreadful that wants to destroy them all.

  • I also thought it was this book on reading the question. There are super powered kids, who all congregate to the same area (and yes, set up a camp), they discover they are meant to fight some great and alien threat, there are a number of transformations (fine tuning towards said threat's specifics?), and i do recall one was ugly-duckling style, turning out to be the vastly important, etc post transformation. – Megha Nov 7 '18 at 7:26

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