I'm baffled. I'm at 50% and I have no idea why it's on the Andre Norton list. This is mainstream, not YA, and I'm loving it.
I don't suppose anyone remembers Henry Kuttner's short story 'Cold War', or the other Hogben stories, but there's a strong resemblance. At the risk of showing a Brit's ignorance of the American class system, I'd call it a sort of trailer park version of Amber, more like the second series than the first, perhaps.