After the devastating economic depression and population implosion of the 2020s children were declared to be society’s most valuable natural resource and hope for the future. All children are now claimed by the state at birth to ensure that each child becomes a valuable and contributing member of society. In this fragile economic state every individual is required to be a productive member of the work force. Raised by the state from birth, Helen has lived her whole life in a children's facility. Her future contribution to society will not be assigned until she finishes her primary education.