By Neal Shusterman
In a futuristic society, The Heartland War has devastated the United States of America and the peace settlement negotiated between the two sides is known as The Bill of Life. This bill ends abortion, but allows parents the option to have their children between the ages of 13 and 18 “unwound.”
A teen that has been unwound means that every part of the teen is harvested and their body parts are given as transplants to the sick or injured. According to the law, they are not being killed since, technically, every piece of them is still alive, just “in a divided state.”
When sixteen-year-old Connor finds out his parents are having him unwound, he runs away and in the process meets up with Risa and Lev.
Risa is an orphan who is being unwound because she is not a gifted enough pianist. Lev is the tenth child of a wealthy, religious family who is voluntarily having him unwound as a “tithe” to God.
Connor’s plan is to keep them all alive until they turn 18 and can no longer be unwound. However, Lev is morally conflicted because of his religious beliefs and he makes Connor’s and Risa’s journey especially difficult.
Author Neal Shusterman skillfully manages to explore both sides of every issue, using a matter-of-fact approach to broach sensitive subjects. While the idea of being unwound is deeply terrifying, when Shusterman details the process it is with a methodical approach, lacking blood or gore.
Despite the straightforward descriptions, this is definitely a teen and adult title because of the complex subject matter. Shusterman has written a gripping piece of literature that will have readers questioning whether this futuristic society could one day become reality, and if so, what would they do to survive.
By Lisa McMann
Seventeen-year-old Janie Hannagan has more than her fair share of problems.
Her mother is an alcoholic. She must work full-time at a nursing home to support herself. She lives on the wrong side of town. She longs to attend college, but hold little hope, despite how hard she works.
And her major problem is dreams. Not her dreams, but those of anyone who falls asleep in her presence. Janie has a supernatural gift that causes her to be sucked into dreams and she cannot pull herself out until the dream ends.
This bothersome gift announced itself to Janie at age eight, but as she gets older it is becoming increasingly harder to hide the seizure-like state she goes into while other people dream.
Janie is fed up with not being able to control herself and people are starting to become suspicious. And things get even more weird after she falls into a particularly gruesome nightmare where someone is dreaming about her.
Lisa McMann has written an intriguing and suspenseful read. Janie is a likable character and readers are sure to quickly devour this title and search out Fade, the second book in the series.
Jeana Gockley is the children's librarian at Joplin Public Library.
- Globe Life
Carthage Humane Society featured in YouTube series with Josh Duhamel
One thousand dogs at one time cared for by the Carthage Humane Society now have "forever homes" after their adoption through shelters in and around Minneapolis.
Ryan Richardson: Pet urine becomes indoor problem during winter
My dog and I are sick of winter, and she has begun a rebellion because of it. She has fought me when we go outside because of the cold and snow.
Frankie Meyer: Best starting point for family research is your life, not web
New to family history research? Don't pay a fee to use genealogy websites. Although they may be helpful later in your research, they are not helpful when you begin.
To start your family history, you must start with yourself.
Danya Walker: Ripley biography reveals cartooning history
Robert Ripley is best known for "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" cartoon sketches, books and museums, but I was interested in learning more about the man behind the drawings.
Lisa Brown: 'Blackfish' reveals darker side of marine attractions
It is a film that breaks hearts and angers people. It also changes the way people think -- something a good documentary should be able to do.
Frankie Meyer: Day trips give fresh perspective on old history
Family genealogies are most appreciated by loved ones who are interested in local and national history, too. When a person can imagine ancestors living during specific eras of history, the people come alive.
Ryan Richardson: Pets can pose problems for computers
When I started college back in the 1999, I was a computer science major. I had a promising job at a local cable service, working tech support and system-side support for our servers. I've always been the go-to guy when a computer breaks down with my friends and family.
Moving musical: Students involved with high school's last play proud to present it at MSSU
Mollie Sanders fell in love with "The Drowsy Chaperone" when she was in middle school.
The musical's wit and heart quickly snared Sanders' attention.
Jeana Gockley: Characters stand out in Sloan's 'Counting by 7s'
Several years ago, I had the honor of hearing Nancy Pearl speak at a library conference. She is a celebrity in the world of libraries.
Frankie Meyer: Experts imagine what future libraries will look like
What will libraries of the future be like? That is a question facing libraries around the nation.
- More Globe Life Headlines
- Carthage Humane Society featured in YouTube series with Josh Duhamel