Posts Tagged 'Abortion'

Seeing Red by Peter Lancett

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  221

RAC Book: No

Tom lives a very privileged life and frankly is not afraid to show it.  His parents are very busy professionals and he finds himself on his own a lot.  He loves divulging what labels he’s wearing and how fancy his house is, but he doesn’t have real close friends to discuss real issues with.  When he meets Sylvia he thinks she might be the one to finally understand him.  She shows him the wonders of cutting and he finds himself going down the same path whenever he has difficulty dealing with an issue in his life.  Sylvia is not as invested in the relationship as he is, however, and his ability to cope with the possibility of losing her comes into question.

Tom’s voice is very honest and easy for young adult readers to identify with.  Reluctant readers might find it especially easy to engage with him as he says everything he is thinking and does not really care about how it sounds.  Tom deals with many difficult issues such as abortion and depression, but it is handled in a way that readers can easily understand.  There is some strong language used at times to help Tom describe exactly how the people around him talk.  Fans of Ellen Hopkins would like this title, but encourage any reader who gravitates toward titles like this to feel comfortable discussing it with a teacher, librarian, or guidance counselor afterward as some of the material can affect some students more strongly than others.

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Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  355

RAC:  Yes

In this futuristic society abortion is illegal, but children can be “unwound” between the ages of 12 an 18.  This means that the child’s body is used as spare parts for other people in need of transplants.  It is believed the child will live on through these other people, but the process of unwinding is vague and not discussed until the end.  Connor is sentenced to be an unwind by his parents, but he finds out and runs away before the unwind police can come get him.  Risa was born an orphan and has been raised by the state.  She has practiced classical piano, but is not the best one in the state home and is subsequently sentenced be unwound.  Lev is a tithe, which means his family’s religion believes that a child should be sacrificed for the greater good.  All three of these teens end up on the run and must fight to save their lives and prove they are worthy of living.

This is an interesting and thought provoking story that will inevitably bring up issues about abortion and dying.  The characters are likable and easy to identify with, even in these terrible circumstances.  The book moves along at a nice pace and the journey of the teens twists a bit which makes it unpredictable and exciting.  There is a lot of action and some gore as these three try to save their lives.  Fans of The Hunger Games and Girl in the Arena will enjoy this title.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

Genre:  Historical Fiction

RAC:  Yes

This WWII story follows Sarah in 1942 and Julia in 2002.  Sarah’s family is rounded up by the French police and sent to a detention center, but her little brother refused to go and hid in a small closet in their room.  Sarah locked him in and kept the key promising to come back later in the day for him.  She did not think they would actually be detained since it was the French police and not the Germans rounding them up. When she realized she would not be going back to her home her and her father tried to leave to get her brother, but the police would not allow them out.  She held onto the key for weeks praying to find a way back to him.  In 2002 Julia is a reporter who is assigned an article on the roundup of Jewish families by French police.  She is shocked to find that many people living in Paris had no idea such a thing took place.  As she comes across Sarah’s story she becomes determined to find out what happened to the little girl.

This is a different angle on a topic that has been covered in numerous ways.  As the story moves between Sarah and Julia you cannot help but get immersed in finding out what happened to Sarah and her family.  Sarah’s journey is truly amazing and realistic as she is forced to face adult issues as a child.  The characters are written incredibly well in a complex, multi-faceted way.  Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys reading about this era.


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