2018 Literature | Deep Dive into Unwind

Unwind is a book by Neal Shusterman that tells the story of three teenagers. The story takes place after the Second Civil War, a conflict that arose over the morality of abortion. To end the war, the government has created an alternative to abortion: the “unwinding” of children. Anyone who is not sent to be “unwound” by their parents by their eighteenth birthday is free to live the rest of their lives.

So what exactly does it mean to be “unwound”? In the novel, “unwinding” is the process of a child being sent off by their parents to be have their organs harvested and donated to those in need of an organ transplant.

In the excerpt, the main protagonist, Connor, finds out that his parents have signed the agreement for him to be unwound. He asks his girlfriend Ariana to escape with him, and she initially agrees. However, on the night of Connor’s escape, Ariana changes her mind. Disappointed and feeling betrayed, Connor makes his way to a truck stop, where he sees the police. He hides in a truck belonging to Josiah Alberidge, a man who received an arm donation from an unwound child. Josiah allows Connor to stay in the truck. Later, Connor witnesses Andy, another child who has attempted to escape from his fate of being unwound, being taken away by the police.

As the truck drives on, Connor falls asleep and dreams about his childhood. He is awakened by his phone ringing. The police and his father have tracked his location using his phone, and confronts Connor. In a desperate escape, Connor climbs into a white Cadillac…and the excerpt ends.


So, how are the themes of this story connected to the curriculum?

Human Relationships - Betrayal

Ariana promises to escape with Connor, then betrays him by refusing to do so. Were her reasons justified?

Unwind is a book by Neal Shusterman that tells the story of three teenagers. The story takes place after the Second Civil War, a conflict that arose over the morality of abortion. To end the war, the government has created an alternative to abortion: the “unwinding” of children. Anyone who is not sent to be “unwound” by their parents by their eighteenth birthday is free to live the rest of their lives.

So what exactly does it mean to be “unwound”? In the novel, “unwinding” is the process of a child being sent off by their parents to be have their organs harvested and donated to those in need of an organ transplant.

In the excerpt, the main protagonist, Connor, finds out that his parents have signed the agreement for him to be unwound. He asks his girlfriend Ariana to escape with him, and she initially agrees. However, on the night of Connor’s escape, Ariana changes her mind. Disappointed and feeling betrayed, Connor makes his way to a truck stop, where he sees the police. He hides in a truck belonging to Josiah Alberidge, a man who received an arm donation from an unwound child. Josiah allows Connor to stay in the truck. Later, Connor witnesses Andy, another child who has attempted to escape from his fate of being unwound, being taken away by the police.

As the truck drives on, Connor falls asleep and dreams about his childhood. He is awakened by his phone ringing. The police and his father have tracked his location using his phone, and confronts Connor. In a desperate escape, Connor climbs into a white Cadillac…and the excerpt ends.


So, how are the themes of this story connected to the curriculum?

Human Relationships - Betrayal Ariana promises to escape with Connor, then betrays him by refusing to do so. Were her reasons justified?

Human Relationships - Parent/Child Relationships Connor’s parents have signed the order to have him “unwound.” Are Connor’s parents “giving up” on him? Do you think they have made a reasonable choice? What are the responsibilities of a parent; do you think Connor’s parents have failed him?

Science of Memory - Memories

Why does the author include one of Connor’s earliest memories? What is he trying to illustrate? What value do such memories have?

Unwind is a book by Neal Shusterman that tells the story of three teenagers. The story takes place after the Second Civil War, a conflict that arose over the morality of abortion. To end the war, the government has created an alternative to abortion: the “unwinding” of children. Anyone who is not sent to be “unwound” by their parents by their eighteenth birthday is free to live the rest of their lives.

So what exactly does it mean to be “unwound”? In the novel, “unwinding” is the process of a child being sent off by their parents to be have their organs harvested and donated to those in need of an organ transplant.

In the excerpt, the main protagonist, Connor, finds out that his parents have signed the agreement for him to be unwound. He asks his girlfriend Ariana to escape with him, and she initially agrees. However, on the night of Connor’s escape, Ariana changes her mind. Disappointed and feeling betrayed, Connor makes his way to a truck stop, where he sees the police. He hides in a truck belonging to Josiah Alberidge, a man who received an arm donation from an unwound child. Josiah allows Connor to stay in the truck. Later, Connor witnesses Andy, another child who has attempted to escape from his fate of being unwound, being taken away by the police.

As the truck drives on, Connor falls asleep and dreams about his childhood. He is awakened by his phone ringing. The police and his father have tracked his location using his phone, and confronts Connor. In a desperate escape, Connor climbs into a white Cadillac…and the excerpt ends.


So, how are the themes of this story connected to the curriculum?

Human Relationships - Betrayal Ariana promises to escape with Connor, then betrays him by refusing to do so. Were her reasons justified?

Human Relationships - Parent/Child Relationships Connor’s parents have signed the order to have him “unwound.” Are Connor’s parents “giving up” on him? Do you think they have made a reasonable choice? What are the responsibilities of a parent; do you think Connor’s parents have failed him?

Science of Memory - Memories Why does the author include one of Connor’s earliest memories? What is he trying to illustrate? What value do such memories have?