Posts Tagged 'organ donation'

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.

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages: 447

2010 Iowa High School Award Winner

RAC Book:  Yes

Shay Bourne is a man on death row for murdering a cop and an eight year old girl.  The girl’s mother, June, was 8 months pregnant at the time of the murders and has since given birth to a baby girl, whom she has named Claire.  Claire is now 11 years old and the execution date for Shay has finally been determined, but it takes a dramatic turn when he sees on the news that Claire needs a heart transplant.  Shay quickly offers his own heart, but this raises many difficult questions.  Can June let her daughter take the heart of the man who killed her husband and daughter?  Will taking the heart of a murderer change her daughter’s personality?  Can she bear to pass on it and lose yet another daughter?

Picoult is a master of finding difficult moral issues and displaying all sides of the issue.  Much like her other stories nothing is ever as it seems, so readers need to read to the end to find out what surprises Picoult has in store.  Fans of Picoult or Diane Chamberlain will enjoy this title because the story and the characters are engaging.