Monday, July 14, 2008

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind is absolutely amazing. I've long been a fan of Neal Shusterman (who by the way is not only a brilliant writer but a fascinating dinner companion, as I found out at this past year's Texas Library Association conference)and enjoyed his previous works (I am a particular fan of The Schwa Was Here), but Unwind takes things to a whole new level.
Connor Lassiter founds out he is about to be unwound---you see, he lives in a time in which parents or guardians can choose to have their teens aged 13-18 "unwound" if they choose to do so. Got a troubled kid? Send him to a harvest camp and have him "unwound", that way you aren't really killing him---after all, his body parts will go on to someone who needs them, so in that sense he is just "living" in a different way. When Connor finds the paperwork that spells out his future he decides to run. If he can make it until he is 18 he'll be safe. Along the way he picks up two other kids destined for the same future, Risa, a ward of the state who is being unwound because while she is okay at certain things she isn't a genius at any of them, and after all, more space is needed in the state home, and Lev, a tithe, who has known since birth that his family was voluntarily unwinding him as a gift to God.
This is one of those books that will keep you on the edge of your seat while reading, and haunt you afterwards. It is incredibly disturbing and complex, and would be an excellent book for a group to discuss. I can't wait for school to be back in session so that I can talk this book with you guys! I HIGHLY recommend this book for grades 7 and up.

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