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I am trying to find a novel (children's or young adult maybe) that I read several years back, possibly around 2010. I believe it was the first in a series of novels, and have been trying to find it for a while now but unfortunately remember very few details.

I vaguely recall there being some kind of institute or boarding school for 'gifted' children, although I don't think their parents knew what it was about.

The novel seemed to draw quite heavily on biblical themes: one chapter, named something about 'going pear-shaped', involves a teacher at the school (I think they were the antagonist) charismatically explaining to a student that the forbidden fruit in the garden of eden was a pear, not an apple.

The other event I recall quite well was when a student had gone back home from the institute, troubled, and discovers they have developed telepathy. She (or at least the reader) realises this when she hears her father ask where he left his car keys and she responds, but he claims he didn't say anything.

Googling brings up John Wyndham's 'The Chrysalids'; I am fairly sure this is not it.

Edit: One other (probably unhelpful) detail was that at the back of the book was a teaser for the next in the series. All I remember was that it described a scene with a rubbish heap with birds on it. I think this may have been a vision or premonition one of the students had about an impending apocalypse (biblical in nature) which the institute was preparing for/involved in.

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    No, The Chrysalids takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where cars haven't yet come back (at least not in Labrador, where the action takes place). – LSerni Dec 16 '18 at 18:32
  • @LSerni Thanks, you're right that doesn't match what I remember. That does remind me though I think the plot may have been leading up to an apocalypse, I'll add that to the question. – user8954 Dec 17 '18 at 4:48
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A story with some points in common, but not all, is Orphans of Chaos. I don't think this is the answer, but it might be for someone else's following the same title and keywords.

School for gifted kids: check. Teachers as the antagonists: check. Somewhat biblical theme: that too. Kids discovering powers, check. In the second part of the book there's also the sense of impending doom (which was the reason for the kids' inprisonment in the first place).

First book in a series (Chaos Chronicles).

But in the book the kids are orphans (or believe so), so there can be no father scene.

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