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"What if your parents could unwind you?"

This book deserves six stars for its ingenious plot!

The novel opens by explaining that the United States experienced its second civil war instigated by pro-life and pro-choice advocates bent on destroying each other. To end the long, bloody war, government officials came together to create "The Bill of Life," which "states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively 'abort' a child..." They do this by unwinding them, or harvesting their body parts. It's a win-win for all sides: parents get to eliminate unwanted children, society gets plenty of organ donors, and no one (technically) dies.

This novel does an excellent job of bringing serious issues to the forefront. For instance, it has the obvious debate about the value of life, but what about humanity and our responsibility to one another? Aren't parents supposed to protect their children? When does government overstep its boundaries? Is it good to be ruled solely by moral or civil law? Does it have to be one or the other? These were just some of the many questions running through my mind as I read about children living in fear and relying on perfect strangers to show them more kindness than their own families. This book presents a ton of hot topics. In fact, I plan to read it as a class for my comp II class this fall. I want something my students can feel passionate about, and I feel like this is the book that will get them interested in reading.

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Guy Montag is a fireman. He doesn't put out fires; he starts them. In fact, the best kindling is books. Why? Because books make people think, make people question, and make people deny the status quo. In a society where happiness reigns supreme (at all costs), individual thought doesn't fit in. Then, he meets Clarisse. A young girl who makes him think, who makes him question, and plants a seed about the status quo.

It all begins with a quiet walk one evening after work, and ends with Guy running for his life with an armful of books, hoping to God that "they" don't find him.

This book refers to things that are occurring within our society today (i.e. reality TV). Even though this novel drags in a few places, its overall power is worth every word.

 
 
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Jenna Fox knows that something isn't right, but she just can't put her finger on it. The reason? Because she's lost her memory. But she notices that her family lives in secrecy, and the grandmother who once loved her, treats her with open hostility. When she starts asking questions that never get answered and realizes that she's a prisoner in her own home, she decides it's time to take matters into her own hands. What happened that night of the accident? Why can't she remember anything? And, why won't anyone tell her? What she discovers, however, is that, maybe, it was better if she left well-enough alone.

This would be a great novel to teach in conjunction with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It approaches the science versus nature debate from the perspective of the "monster," also known as Jenna Fox. When does science go too far? When should we let people die? When should the government step in? And, when do people stop being human?