on young adult literature, literacy, and teaching

Book Preview: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind (Unwind, #1)Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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Hardbound, 335 pages
HL 740L

After the Second Civil War, the government came up with the Bill of Life. Simply put, everyone has the right to be born. But science has advanced enough that 100% of one person’s body can be transplanted to other people. Unwinding. Since there are no longer pre-birth abortions, parents (and government officials) can decide to have people, between the ages of 13 and 18, unwound. At that point the unwind is alive in a divided state. Unwind by Neal Shusterman tackles the issues of abortion and ethics in science in this story about survival and what it really means to be alive.

I met Neal Shusterman in 2009, and had my copy of Unwind signed. See if you can figure out what it says, then figure out what it means in terms of the novel.

Sorry it’s sideways. The program wouldn’t let me rotate it.

My Original Post
One of my colleagues didn’t like Unwind, so he gave me his copy and I added it to my classroom library. I covered the third hour of one of my fellow English department cronies last week, carrying that novel with me, and did a short book talk to her class. One kid, who I really thought wasn’t listening, wandered over, picked it up, and wandered back to his seat with it. For the remainder of the period, he sat in the corner reading this novel. At the end of class, when the kids were packing up to leave, he stands up and goes, “Okay, Miss. I’m taking this with me.” I think it surprised him when I replied with, “Okay.”

On Tuesday, he brings the book back to me saying, “It was awesome, I finished it in two days, and then my sister read it and loved it.” Because it was the end of the passing period and he was on his way to class, I didn’t get a chance to engage with him about it, but I am quite stoked that both he and his sister enjoyed it.

Read the Printed Word!