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Unwind
Neal Shusterman
Teen Fiction SHUSTER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In the not-so-distant future, everyone has an absolute right to life--unless your parents decide on the do-over option. Between your 13th and 18th birthdays, they can have you "unwound," your pieces and parts extracted and recycled for the donor market. Why It Is Great: The unwound are kept alive until the very end of the harvesting process. A single scene made this book one of the scariest reads published for teens last year. Why It Is for Us: Shusterman's exploration of good intentions gone very, very bad will resonate with adult readers frustrated by the prochoice/prolife debate. The premise falls down in a few, significant places, but the book will still reward fans of dystopian sf. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Connor
Male
Age: 15
Parents don't want him anymore because of his troublemaking ways; unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts; makes a cross-country journey hoping to survive till his eighteenth birthday, after which he can't be harmed.

Risa
Female
Orphan
Orphanage let her go because of budget cuts; unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts; makes a cross-country journey hoping to survive till her eighteenth birthday, after which she can't be harmed.

Lev
Male
His family follows a strict religion that allows their children to be salvaged; makes a cross-country journey hoping to survive till his eighteenth birthday, after which he can't be harmed.



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