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About ten years ago, I read a book that follows the adventures of a group of orphans. I've been looking for it for some number of years, but I can't really piece the story back together. I still recall the setting: a future version of a very big city in which most cars drive by themselves and there is a heavy focus on spacefaring. Whilst I've forgotten most of the story, there are still some pieces of it that I remember:

In the beginning of the story, we witness an accident of a self-driving car. For some reason the driver has to take control of the wheel, but since he doesn't know how to drive, he crashes the car, which had been full of orphans on their way to an orphanage.

In order to be able to stay in the orphanage, the children must execute some tasks. There is mention of an afternoon spent at the movie theatre with impressive 3D capabilities where the kids have to watch adverts and fill in a query gauging their responses to the videos.

At the end of the day, the children get their food. The food is picked up cheaply from a military dump or something like that. Not only is the food is edible, but so too are the containers, which are consumed by the orphans. The taste of the food is foul, which is also why it is so cheap.

As this is not such a good life, some of the orphans make an attempt at escaping. They are hunted down, and at one point one of the children is shot by a drone with a drug. As a remedy, the kids have him eat a rotten loaf of bread.

As my memory is fairly vague about this book, it is possible some of these story elements have been altered during my long mental attempts at reconstructing the film.

marked as duplicate by Valorum Apr 26 '15 at 21:24

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The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer.

"In the not-too-distant future, in a place called Satellite City, thirteen-year-old Cosmo Hill is unfortunate enough to come into the world unwanted by his parents. And so, as are all orphaned boys his age, Cosmo is dipped in a vaccine vat and sent to the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys-freight class. At Clarissa Frayne, the orphans, called "no-sponsors," are put to work by the state, testing dangerous products that never should be allowed near human beings. By the time the no-sponsors are sent to their cardboard utility pipes, given their nightly meal pack, and finally fall asleep, they are often covered in burns, bruises, or sores from the work of the day. Cosmo Hill knows that he must escape, even though he has no idea what might be waiting for him on the outside. He plans for the moment when he can make a break. When that moment finally comes, he nearly dies while escaping. But he is rescued by a gang of "Supernaturalists," a motley crew of kids who all have a special psychic ability-one that Cosmo is about to learn he has as well. They "see" supernatural Parasites-tiny, translucent creatures who feed on the life force of humans. - B&N Review

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    Good answer, but remember to reference quotes and reviews so people know where they've come from... – Valorum Apr 26 '15 at 21:23

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