Luke is described as a very smart and gifted child. At 12 years old he already got accepted to MIT. Throughout the book, he faces lots of challenges and becomes stronger as he goes along. He doesn't give up when things are hard.
"He lay down again, tried again to ease under, and again the bottom of the fence stopped him. But he was close. Luke got on his knees and dug more,dug faster,left and right, back and forth, to and fro."
Mrs. Sigsby is the head of the Institue. The first time Luke meets her,readers can tell she is extremely strict,mean,rude, and bossy. She wants things to be exactly how she says. Mrs. Sigsby isn't afraid to abuse children if they don't follow what she says.
" 'Shake my hand, Luke.' Part of him wanted to,old habits were hard to break, but he kept his hand at his side. 'Shake it, or you'll wish you did. I won't tell you again.' "
The theme of the book is to not force someone to do something they don't like. This is proven by how all the kids didn't want to be at the Institute. They are tortured and are forcefully made to take different medicines and shots.
" 'She also knew Truman was going to get elected president ... 'Did she know about Trump?' Kalisha asked."
This creates suspense because it makes the reader wonder if Luke will get caught trying to escape. Or if he does escape, where will he go, and what will he do.
When Luke goes to Mrs. Sigsby's office, the mood is hostile and aggresive. Mrs. Sigsby doesn't try to make Luke feel less scared at the Institue but instead is rude. This makes Luke feel scared and uncomfortable.
This shows how the setting is more recent. Trump was elected in 2016, so the time of this book taking place has to be after it.