Why didn't you tell me, bloggy friends, that kids' books could be so creepy? Goof Ball, Oatmeal Head, Owlie and I went to the library for a book signings a few weeks ago. There were two authors - Neal Shusterman and Gary Paulsen - who Goof Ball loves. I'd only heard of one (Shusterman), but I love a good book signing, so we all headed out.
OMG - the two authors spoke for a bit and I fell in LOVE with Gary Paulsen. He wouldn't let me take him home with me, but I could have tucked him in my pocket and squirreled him away. What a story teller! Unfortunately we only picked up one of his books, Hatchet. I've yet to read it.
Shusterman, on the other hand, is one of Goof Ball's favorite authors. We snagged a couple of his books, Full Tilt and Unwind. Full Tilt is sitting next to me, waiting to be read, but I was kept awake one night reading Unwind. I was kept awake the next night just thinking about Unwind.
The concept is chilling - sometime in the future, abortion is outlawed. In order to make the pro-abortion and pro-life camps happy, the legislation is written to allow parents to have children over the age of 13 and under 18 "unwound". Each part of said child has to be used in some other person. In other words, the child is, technically, killed and redistributed. But not killed, according to the way it's done and to how their parts are used. Freaky.
So if your kid isn't performing up to snuff, if they're getting into trouble, what have you, you can sign papers to have them unwound. Especially if you have another child or two who pleases you.
It's a spooky book concept. The biggest hole in the plot, from a parent's perspective is that, DUH - what parent of a 13 year old wouldn't sign those papers?!? Really? What were the legislators thinking? But as a pre-teen reading it? Scary stuff.
Shusterman did a fantastic job making this believable. And frightening. Well written. Gave me the heebie-jeebies. I want to read Full Tilt, too, but the premise for it looks even more unnerving. I'll let you know if I work up the courage to read it at some point. Until then, if you like futuristic young adult thrillers, I give Unwind two thumbs up!
Until I write again ...