Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banned Book Showcase: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Publication Date: November 7th, 2007

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives. The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Why I'm Showcasing This Book:

...Mostly because I can't get past the absurdity of this book having been banned. A Montgomery County, KY high school removed this book from classroom discussion and curriculum because, "Some parents have complained about five novels that contain foul language and cover topics - including sex, child abuse, suicide, and drug abuse - deemed unsuited to discussion in coed high school classes. They also contend that the books don't provide the intellectual challenge and rigor that students need in college preparatory classes.". Have any of these parents actually read this book? Lacking intellectual challenge? This is one of the most thought provoking YA books out there!!! As far as the content matters, these are high school kids! Oh my gosh! I don't know if high school kids should discuss *gasp* sex, or suicide, of abuse, or *hushed tones* drug abuse. It might warp their impressionable young minds... Are these parents THAT delusional? It's a good thing for these people that intelligence is not a requirement for having children. I really have no more to say...

This book is so well done, I barely have words. Not only is it thought provoking on so many levels (medical ethics, abortion, government, religion), it is thrilling and action packed. The characters are great; there is at least one that every type of kid can relate to. The story is plausible; I could very well see war erupting in the future over the abortion and stem-cell debates, and drastic measures being taken to end it. This book is chilling with the ideas presented, and it's hard to choose sides if you really think about each side carefully. I actually think that this is one of the BEST books out there for classroom discussion. If you have followed my blog long, you know that Neal Shusterman is my favorite YA author, and this, by far and away, is his best book. Everyone, teens and adults, need to read it!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★+++

Grade Level Recommendation: This book deals with some sensitive issues, but I don't believe it is anything that the average middle school aged kid could not grasp. However, I think that the more mature a kid is, the more thought provoking it will be. Grades 7+ (ages 12 and up).

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop HERE**


  1. I've never heard of this book but is sounds really interesting! I'm going to definitely look for it. Thanks for the review!

  2. I just read this! i loved it and i heard unwholly is the next one neal shusterman is making of the series

  3. Well said! Love this book. Bone Chilling is an excellent way to describe it... It's a book that has stuck with me, and that's saying a lot.

  4. This is a GREAT book. If you are interested in reading discussions about it go here:

    My reading group really had some great thoughts about it!



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