Books by Margaret Haddix
Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive
Luke is a third child in a world where only two are allowed per family, because of shortages.
A sideswipe, although ambivalent, at current policies and ideas about keeping population levels down to avoid shortages. Luke's farming family are close despite the problems of keeping him hidden. Jen's richer family have also risked many things to keep her safe.
When a Diphtheria epidemic starts in the village of Clifton in 1840, Jessie's mother explains to her what the adults in the village all know: that the year is in fact 1996, but the inhabitants of the village chose to live as though in the 19th century as an experiment and a showcase.
Contrasting the simple 19th century lifestyle with its modern unsympathetic equivalent. Ambivalent at the end as to which is better.