I remember reading a book in the early 1990s about race of aliens who have an ethical dilemma, something about controlling worms or something similar to burrow in straight rows. They kidnap four(?) children from Earth, and give them special abilities to help the aliens solve their ethical problem. The children were transported to the alien's planet.

Each child has a different ability. At one point a flower is given to one of the children. One of them charges forward knocking the flower to the floor where it shatters. The flower was a device to broadcast a suggestion to influence the outcome. The boy's ability was to be able to detect that there was something wrong with the flower.


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