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Unwind Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Shusterman, Neal
ISBN: 1416912053     ISBN-13: 9781416912057
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    OUR PRICE: $10.79  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: June 2009
Annotation: In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them

Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until theireighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

In "Unwind," "Boston Globe/Horn Book" Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Fugitives from justice; Fiction.
Survival; Fiction.
Revolutionaries; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2009014713
Lexile Measure: 740
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Series: Unwind Dystology
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.25" W x 1.00" (0.70 lbs) 335 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 120008
Reading Level: 5.0   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 14.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q42892
Reading Level: 4.5   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 23.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #2)
A near-future America allows for unwanted teenagers to be "unwound," or retroactively aborted, their body parts used for transplants, as part of the compromise that ended the Second Civil War (between Pro-life and Pro-choice armies). Life is sacred from the moment of conception until age thirteen, at which time one's legal guardian holds the ultimate power. Three teens marked for unwinding narrowly escape this fate and search for a safe haven amid betrayal, political intrigue, and harrowing, nonstop flights and fights. Connor is condemned by his parents for poor anger management and general unruliness. Risa, a ward of the state, is a play-by-the-rules pianist who isn't quite talented enough. And Lev is a tithe, part of a religious family who raised him to be a willing sacrifice to the cause. It is to Shusterman's credit that he manages to create and balance three separate and compelling journeys of self-discovery for his strongly individualized characters: Connor from petty rebel to thoughtful, inspiring leader; Risa from dutiful follower to principled protester; and Lev -- in a chilling secondary plotline -- from blindly contented sheep to suicide bomber targeting an unwinding center. Though the political foundations of this dystopic future are never quite convincing, the substantial array of issues is precisely, provocatively conveyed, offering plenty for readers to contemplate in this nail-biting, character-driven thriller. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2007 November #4)

Shusterman (Everlost ) explores one of the most divisive of topics—abortion—in this gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller. After a civil war waged over abortion has almost destroyed America, completely new laws are in effect. Human life can never be "terminated," but between the ages of 13 and 18, a child can be "unwound" by his parents, an irrevocable decision that leads to every single bit of his body being harvested for medical use. As the novel opens, 16-year-old Connor has secretly discovered his parents' copy of his unwind order, and decides to "kick-AWOL," or run away. Connor's escape inadvertently sweeps up two other Unwinds: a ward of the state who is not quite talented enough to merit her place in a state home any longer, and the 10th son of religious parents, who gave birth to him just to "tithe" him. Beyond his pulse-pounding pace, the cliffhangers and the bombshells, Shusterman has a gift for extrapolating the effects of alien circumstances on ordinary people and everyday behavior. He brings in folklore, medical practices, and slang that reflect the impact of unwinding, creating a dense and believable backdrop. Characters undergo profound changes in a plot that never stops surprising readers. The issues raised could not be more provocative—the sanctity of life, the meaning of being human—while the delivery could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens. Ages 13-up. (Nov.)

[Page 54]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 January)

Gr 9 Up— An unsettling futuristic novel set after the Second Civil War. Connor Lassiter, age 16, runs away from his suburban Ohio home after discovering that his parents have scheduled his "unwinding." His body parts will go to other people who need them. He will be both terminated and "technically" kept alive, only in a separated state. The constitutional amendments known as "The Bill of Life" permit parents to choose "retroactive" abortion for children between the ages of 13 and 18. Connor meets another Unwind, Risa, and they kidnap Lev, who is a Tithe (the 10th child born to a single family with the express purpose of being unwound). Their escape and survival stories interweave as they struggle to avoid harvest camps. Luckily, an underground network is helping Unwinds escape to safety. There is evenhanded, thoughtful treatment of many issues, including when life starts and stops, consciousness, religion, free will, law, trust and betrayal, suicide bombers, and hope. Initially, the premise of parents dismantling their children is hard to accept; however, readers are quickly drawn into the story, which is told in a gripping, omniscient voice. Characters live and breathe; they are fully realized and complex, sometimes making wrenchingly difficult decisions. This is a thought-provoking, well-paced read that will appeal widely, especially to readers who enjoy Scott Westerfeld's Uglies (2005), Pretties (2005), and Specials (2006, all S & S).—Amy J. Chow, New York Public Library

[Page 126]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.