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Years and years ago, after picking up a few books at the library, I discovered the author Neal Shusterman. I first read his Dark Fusion books and loved them.

Then I found Downsiders…

and became a Neal Shusterman fan. I searched the library for his books, reading all they had. Here are some… go find more here. Have I read all of his books? Nope. But I am working on it.

All of them are fantastic! Don’t forget Bruiser…or Scythe. Have you read them? WHY NOT?

When I came across Unwind…

and…

Seriously. So many feels. So many thoughts. So many mind altering ideas.

Well, it’s the first in a series…so I set out to read the rest, but the rest hadn’t been written, so I set them aside because I WANT TO READ THEM ALL IN A ROW.

I have four…however, there is a fifth I have to buy…waiting for me to immerse myself in the stories.

My sister and her family came to visit over Labor Day weekend and my niece approached me and said, “We’re reading Unwind in school.”

Me:

“UNWIND…NEAL SHUSTERMAN’S UNWIND? THAT IS ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE BOOKS! HAVE YOU STARTED IT?”

My niece might have been a little scared by my outburst, but she knows me, so she got over that. My sister then filled me in on the e-mail the teacher sent home about the book to prepare the parents.

This is no ordinary story, kids. The parents needed to be prepared.

This is a book that can spark a million discussions, that can change perspectives on…so many ideas.

Because of this very thing, my sister decided to read it too. Well, she has devoured the series.

Unwind takes place in a future where there was a second civil war between the Pro-life and Pro-choice camps. This book deals with the laws that were set up to stop that war. This book deals with kids trapped within these laws. This books deals with big questions.

And it does it well.

IT DOES IT WELL.

A beautifully written book. Great characters. A fabulous overall idea that hits you right in the heart.

Bravo to the teacher that decided to let her eighth graders read it. Bravo to the teacher for informing the parents. Bravo to the parents, like my sister, who picked up the book themselves ready to talk about it with their kids.

I hear a lot of people talking about the books they want to read, books taking place in a world they want to live in, books showing a society they want to be a part of. Maybe books should show us a better world, maybe art show show people what is possible. But so many things are possible. Not good…not bad…just possible.

Is the world in Unwind one people want to live in? Probably not. The laws enacted to stop the war…are problematic. Are hurtful. Are scary.

Unwind is disturbing. One chapter in particular really made my head spin.

But it made me think. It made me see the world differently. It affected me.

Good books should do that. Good books don’t have to show us a world we want, but show us what is possible, make us face what could happen, make us stare at what humanity is capable of and question.

In the questions, we grow, we learn, we become better.

Unwind did this for me. It puts humanity on display.

What do you believe?

Why?

Maybe it’s time to look at the whys.

 

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