The Unwanteds

Paperback | July 10, 2012

byLisa McMann

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A riveting middle-grade dystopian novel from New York Times bestselling Wake author Lisa McMann that Kirkus Reviews calls “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”

When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination.
It’s hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate—until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artimé. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation.
But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artimé that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle.

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From the Publisher

A riveting middle-grade dystopian novel from New York Times bestselling Wake author Lisa McMann that Kirkus Reviews calls “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwante...

Lisa McMann was born in Holland, Michigan on February 27, 1968. Her works include the Wake Trilogy, The Unwanteds series, Cryer's Cross, Dead to You, and Crash.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 7.62 × 5.12 × 1.2 inPublished:July 10, 2012Publisher:AladdinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442407697

ISBN - 13:9781442407695

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Amazing book with lots of twists and turns and starts a great series. Also the story base is fantastic which is a mix between reality and fantasy.
Date published: 2015-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Unwanteds The Unwanteds is a verry good for people hoo like adventures. This book talks about a boy and his twin brotherand about the haud times that Alex is having.
Date published: 2015-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good This book is great i really want to read the next book sooooooooo good! If you are a fan of Percy Jackson (like me) you should definitely read this book.☺️
Date published: 2015-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Unwanteds This was a fast paced book with just the right amount of fantasy and fiction. It has everythng:suspense, humor, fiction, mystery, ect.
Date published: 2015-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME This is an AWESOME book its CREATIVE and involves lots of FANTASY and ADVENTURE. This is among the BEST books I've EVER read. :) I GUARANTEE you will LOVE this book. 100% GUARANTEED
Date published: 2014-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME What a wonderful world Lisa McMann has created. The Main character Alex is superb. It is reminiscent of Harry Potter but I have enjoyed these books more. You must read this book if you enjoyed the Potter series.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a fine example of middle grade fantasy Reason for Reading: I am a fan of the author and basically catching up with her books. This was a pleasure to read and a book that every once and a while gave me little ripples of pleasure coursing through me body to read such a fine example of middle grade fantasy. I hate to use this comparison but it highly holds up to the "Harry Potter" model. Here there isn't a boarding school as such, but the children (13yos) are sent to live in a large magical building where they attend school learning magic, have strange instructors, are surrounded by large magical creatures and this is their new home. This live-in school atmosphere has traditionally been a successful formula for books aimed at this age group and with the addition of magic it becomes quite beguiling. I simply adored the set-up for this story. It is being described as dystopian in some circles however that I do disagree with, as there is no evidence this is our world, in fact it quite seems to be an alternate world but as in the dystopia fashion an event has happened to change to structure of society leaving it miserable and under the total control of one self-appointed leader. McMann is a wonderful writer and at this point I just don't think I wouldn't enjoy one of her books, even though they do sometimes rate a 4 with me. The characters are engaging and inviting, leading you to connect with them right away. The magic is fun but must be learnt as it is a skill. The leader of the land of magic, Artime, is charismatic but often shows glimpses of sadness leaving the reader with a sense that he has a secret that will eventually come to life. A pleasure to read, though I will say there were some spots where the plot seemed to drag for a while and as much as I enjoyed it I wouldn't call it a page-turning. However I have book 2 in the tbr pile and will be reading it in the near future, before her new book comes out.
Date published: 2012-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great MG fantasy The Unwanteds was a great book about a world that shuns creativity, and the magic that can be used to harness that creativity. It was very cute and fantastical and I think the targeted Middle Grade audiences will love it. In Quill, at thirteen years old, children are sorted into one of three categories: Wanted, the strong and smart that can benefit society, Necessary, those who must perform necessary tasks like farming, and Unwanted, kids with a creative streak that are sent to their deaths. Immediately I was aware of what a horrible place Quill was. It's dark, it's drab, grey and unexciting. People walk around like sheep, following the rules of their governess lest they be eliminated. Parents of Unwanteds don't even mourn for their children, they just go back to whatever they need to do. When Alex is deemed Unwanted while his twin Aaron is Wanted, he gets sent to the Burning Oil Pits with other Unwanteds to die. Only, when they go through the gates, they enter the world of Artime, hidden from Quill with magic. Artime was truly magical! It was described as such a beautiful place, a literal opposite to the grey world of Quill, Artime was bright and colourful and happy. While there, Alex and all the others take classes relevant to their specific creative outlet and learn how to use magic. Singing can put someone to sleep, a paper dragon can come to life. The creativity that McMann put into Artime was fantastic, and I'm sure any kid would see it as a dream world. Even though I loved the world of Artime I feel conflicted about this book. I liked it but I didn't love it, and I'm not entirely sure as to why. Maybe because it's aimed to younger readers it left me wanting more? Or maybe it was just a little too long. I honestly can't say. It was enjoyable though, and I do look forward to what will become of Quill in any future books. Bottom Line The Unwanteds was a really fun read, one kids of all ages can enjoy. I liked the emphasis on creativity, something that could in turn encourage children to embrace their own interests. If you're a fan of magic, secret worlds, fantastical creatures, Harry Potter, or any type of fantasy novels, you should read this one. Review also here: http://allofeverythingforyou.blogspot.com/2011/08/review-unwanteds-by-lisa-mcmann.html
Date published: 2011-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing, Creative Story What a fun book!! It was full of great characters, interesting animals, imagination and creativity. The first page had me hooked and I could hardly put it down until I was done. The world that Lisa McMann creates is incredible and she does a fantastic job. Quill is a distinctly dreary and horrible place, gray and even covered with mesh fencing. The people come off lifeless and resigned. Artime, on the other hand, is its polar opposite, full of vitality, energy and life. Even the statues are living and there are wonderful, magical creatures such as a winged tortoise and squirrelicorns. Then there is the fighting techniques that the kids learn, such as putting someone to sleep with a soliloquy, painting yourself invisible, and a blinding someone using a highlighter pen. The characters in this book really drew me in - I so felt for Alex and his dilemma, being deemed Unwanted while his twin brother is Wanted; then when he goes to Artime instead of being killed, his desire to help his brother and save him from his dismal life in Quill. Also, even in Artime, Alex feels out of place and separate from his friends when they all qualify for the special military training and he does not. Alex gets moody and sullen, and I could sympathize with his confusion. I also felt that the friendships and rivalries were authentic and well thought out. I loved the questions that McMann poses in this book - she deals with some interesting, larger issues, primarily the way society tends to value academics over artistic talent and creativity, and the importance of free will. She explores how much we have to lose if we cut ourselves off from our creativity and shows us how important it is to our humanity. I found it interesting how much she linked creativity to cleverness, and how people can be incredibly intelligent, but without creativity, their ideas will be lacking and things will eventually fall apart. This is a great book that I think middle school aged kids and even early teens will love. McMann's amazing imagination and creativity is sure to get kids interested in this well written and fun book. I also imagine that it would be a good one to teach in the classroom because the story would keep the kids captivated and there are lots of rich discussion topics.
Date published: 2011-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Unwanteds: fills the gap left by Hunger Games and Harry Potter Wow. I just finished this and had to immediately write a review that might capture my intense feelings about this book and extol the absolute awesomeness that is between the covers. Kirkus called The Unwanteds “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s dark and chilling, but also fun, uplifting and full of heart at the same time. Alex is an amazing character and watching him navigate through his new reality and the complicated relationships with those around him, is both harrowing and devastating. I loved everything about this book, from Simber to Mr. Today, to McMann’s amazingly detailed worlds of Quill and Artime. And if you’re still sitting on the fence about whether or not you’re going to read this, I dare you to read the compelling first chapter and not be completely and utterly hooked.
Date published: 2011-08-11

Extra Content

Read from the Book

The Purge There was a hint of wind coming over the top of the stone walls and through the barbed-wire sky on the day Alexander Stowe was to be Purged. Alex waited in the dusty Commons of Quill and felt the light breeze cooling the sweat on his upper lip. His twin brother, Aaron, stood beside him; their parents, behind. And all around, the entire community of Quill watched and waited, the bland looks of sleeping fish on their faces. Mr. Stowe pressed his finger hard into Alex’s back. A final poke in the kidneys, a last good-bye, Alex thought. Or a warning not to run. Alex glanced at Aaron, whose face showed the tiniest emotion. Scared, was it? Or sad? Alex didn’t know. The High Priest Justine, her long white hair undisturbed despite the breeze, rose to her full height and observed the silent crowd. She began without introduction or ado, for a Purge was neither exciting nor boring; it just was, as many things just were in Quill. There were nearly fifty thirteen-year-olds this year. The people of Quill waited to hear which of these teenagers had been marked as Wanted or Necessary, and, by process of elimination, which of them remained to be Purged. Alex scanned the group and their families around the giant half circle of the amphitheater. He knew some of them, not all. Alex’s mind wandered as the High Priest Justine announced first the names of the Wanteds, and he startled only slightly as the high priest spoke Aaron’s name. Aaron, who’d had nothing to worry about, sighed anyway in relief when he was among the fifteen names called. The Necessaries were next. Thirteen names were read. Alexander Stowe was not one of those, either. Even though Alex knew that he was Unwanted, and had known ever since his parents had told him over breakfast when he was ten, the knowledge and three years of preparation weren’t enough to stop the sweat that pricked his armpits now. It was down to a mere formality unless there was a surprise, which there sometimes was, but it didn’t matter. Everyone stood motionless until the final twenty names were called. Among the Unwanted, Alexander Stowe. Alex didn’t move, though his heart fell like a cement block into his gut. He stared straight ahead as he’d seen the other Unwanteds do in past years. His lip quivered for a moment, but he fought to still it. When the governors came over to him, he put his arms out for them to shackle with rusty iron bands. He made his eyes icy cool before he glanced over his shoulder at his parents, who remained unemotional. His father nodded slightly, and finally took his finger out of Alex’s back after the shackles were secure. That was a minor relief, but what did it matter now? Aaron sniffed once quietly, catching Alex’s attention in the silent amphitheater. The identical boys held a glance for a moment. Something, like a jolt of energy, passed between them. And then it was gone. “Good-bye,” Aaron whispered. Alex swallowed hard, held the stare a second more as the governors tugged at him to follow, and then broke the connection and went with the governors to the waiting bus that would take him to his death. © 2011 Lisa Mcmann

Editorial Reviews

"Reading Lisa McMann's THE UNWANTEDS was like discovering a brilliant,

lost children's classic—except it's never going to be lost, because

readers will never, ever forget the magic they'll experience in

its pages."

--James A. Owen, author and Illustrator of HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS