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First Chapters Book Club

About the book . . . Sublocation: FICTION - Science Fiction Call #: F SHU BK 1

Unwind by Neil Shusterman [Dystopian/Science Fiction]
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Parents or the state can decide to unwind their children for a variety of reasons. What is “unwinding”? Minors' body parts will be separated so that they are not technically dead because they will be living in other people.

Unwind follows three teenagers who will be “unwound.” One lives in a state home that no longer has room for her. The second is a religious tithe, and he has known that he will be unwound his entire life. The third’s parents believe he is a troubled teenager.

This book provided a fabulous discussion after the First Chapter Friday reading with secondary students. I introduced Unwind as dystopian but after hearing the premise and the first chapter, students disagreed and stressed that the book was science fiction. I pulled up different definitions and book reviews on my projector, and students compared Unwind to other books they’ve read.

If I hadn't read the first chapter to my freshmen, we maybe wouldn’t have discussed Dune and Game of Thrones, or other science fiction and fantasy books. We wouldn’t have explored Neal Shusterman’s extensive awards and writing. Finally, we wouldn’t have read more copies of Unwind than any other of my First Chapter Friday books.

Unwind was my biggest successes for First Chapter Friday books. I did not own enough copies, and my librarian ordered more for students. Then, she bought the rest of the series for our kids who fell in love with the premise.