The girl is a late bloomer so she can't read minds like the others, which makes the "social pariah." If the teachers are mind-speaking while teaching, she needs to wear a hearing aid. So if she doesn't mind read soon, she'll never get into college and never get a job. It's like they're in some kind of special universe where anything is possible, but the everyday norm still happens as they're living in Chicago.
I honestly thought this whole thing was too wacky and far-fetched to grasp.
My rating: 2 stars