Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Imagine a future in which parents can choose to get rid of their kids when they turn 13. Even stranger, the parents can feel good about themselves because their kids are being "unwound" and their body parts are used to save other people's lives. Kids end up as "unwinds" for many reasons. Connor's parents didn't like his behavior, Risa was an orphan, and Lev's parents actually gave him away as a "tithe" or a kind of sacrifice to God. They meet on a highway on the way to being unwound, and that's when their adventures begin. They need to survive until they're 18 years old, when they can no longer be unwound. This book made me think about some big questions like who should decide whether a life has value and how will we deal with future technology that gives us the power to transplant more and more organs. It's a powerful book, but also disturbing (especially the "harvest" at the end). Neal Shusterman really knows how to write books that interest middle school kids. Recommended for readers who liked The Giver and Among the Hidden and House of the Scorpion.