Authors: Neal Shusterman
For Charlotte Ruth Shusterman
Love you, Mom
I never dreamed that
would turn into a trilogy, but I just couldn’t escape the strange world it encompasses. I owe a continuing debt of gratitude to David Gale, Navah Wolfe, Justin Chanda, Anne Zafian, and everyone in Simon & Schuster’s editorial department. Also Paul Crichton and Lydia Finn for organizing publicity and book tours, Michelle Fadlalla and Venessa Williams for their work on school and library conferences, Katrina Groover in managing editorial, Chava Wolin in production, and Chloë Foglia in design.
I thank my children for their endless patience while Dad disappears deep into his head, and Marcia Blanco, my extraordinary assistant, who keeps me sane and somehow keeps me organized! Many thanks to Wendy Doyle and Heidi Stoll for their tireless work on the Shustermania newsletter. Another nod to Wendy, and to my son Jarrod, for transcribing my story ramblings whenever I find myself in a digital dictatorial phase. Thanks to my critique group, the Fictionaires, for helping to guide my words—particularly Michelle Knowlden, for our wonderful collaboration on the “UnStrung” short story, and my “Big Sis” Patricia, for catching me when I McFall.
I am indebted to the countless educators out there who are finding ways of using my books in the classroom, and the many fans who tell me how my books affect their lives—fans like Veronica Knysh, whose e-mail brought me to tears and made me remember the reason why I write.
Thanks to Andrea Brown, Trevor Engelson, Shep Rosenman, Lee Rosenbaum, Steve Fisher, and Debbie Deuble-Hill: my
proverbial “people,” who run my career with a collectively enlightened hand (and keep me from running it into the ground!). My gratitude also goes out to Marc Benardout, Catherine Kimmel, Julian Stone, and Charlotte Stout, whose unflinching belief in
will most certainly result in an incredible film!
And finally I thank my parents, Milton and Charlotte Shusterman, for always being there, even when they can’t be.
And the answer is . . .
represent a world turned upside down, what better way to keep you up to speed than giving the answer before the question, like on a certain quiz show? Read the answers, and see how many questions you can get right! Get enough right and you may get to tear up your own unwind order! (Warning: Skipping the game may leave you feeling a bit unwound while reading. . . .)
This is the process by which an individual is dismantled. By law, 99.44 percent of a person must be used and kept alive in transplant.
What is unwinding?
America’s second civil war—also known as the Heartland War—ended when the pro-life and pro-choice armies came to this agreement, which made life inviolable from conception to the age of thirteen but allowed for the “retroactive abortion” of troubled teenagers.
What is the Unwind Accord?
When a mother does not wish to keep a newborn baby, she has the legal option to leave the baby on someone else’s doorstep. The baby then becomes the legal responsibility of the people in that home. This is the common term for the leaving of the baby.
What is storking?
When a person is unwound, since virtually all of them is still alive, they are not considered to be dead, but to be living in this state.
What is the divided state?
These are licensed facilities in which Unwinds are prepared for a divided state. While each facility has its own particular personality, they are all designed to provide a positive experience for youth designated for unwinding.
What are harvest camps?
This northern Arizona harvest camp, in a town named after the joyful lumberjacks who founded it, has recently been closed due to terrorist activity.
What is Happy Jack Harvest Camp?
This is a slang term for the clinic within a harvest camp where unwinding is performed.
What is a Chop Shop?
These young terrorists have introduced an undetectable chemical into their circulatory system that makes their blood explosive. They get their name because they detonate by bringing their hands together in powerful applause.
What are clappers?
This is the common term for the law enforcement officers who work for the National Juvenile Authority and are responsible for the policing of Unwinds.
What are Juvey-cops, or Juvies?
The act of chemically rendering someone unconscious by use of tranquilizer bullets or darts. It is the preferred method utilized by juvenile enforcement officers, because using bullets on Unwinds is both illegal and damages their vital organs, thereby reducing their value.
What is tranq’ing?
From the French word for “beef”—and probably the origin of the slang expression “buff”—this is the common term for a soldier, or a muscular teen on track for a military career.
What is a boeuf?
Originally a military term, it means “away without leave” but has more recently been used as a term for runaway Unwinds.
What is AWOL?
This organization fights unwinding by rescuing AWOL Unwinds. However, it’s not as well organized as people think.
What is the ADR or Anti-Divisional Resistance?
This secret (not so secret) sanctuary for AWOL Unwinds is at a massive airplane salvage yard in the Arizona desert.
What is the Graveyard?
Also known as Connor Lassiter, this runaway Unwind from Ohio is believed to be responsible for the revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp, and is presumed dead.
Who is the Akron AWOL?
Derived from the term meaning “ten percent,” this is a child designated from birth for unwinding, usually for religious reasons.
What is a tithe?
This tithe became a clapper who didn’t clap, and by doing so, put a face on the resistance movement.
Who is Lev Calder?
This is the last name given to parentless children raised in state homes.
What is Ward?
A survivor of Happy Jack Harvest Camp, this former state ward became a paraplegic, because she refused to have her damaged spine replaced by the spine of an Unwind.
Who is Risa Ward?
Wishing you a nail-biting, sleep-depriving, thought-provoking read!
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
He’s fighting a nightmare when they come for him.
A great flood is swallowing the world, and in the middle of it all, he’s being mauled by a bear. He’s more annoyed than terrified. As if the flood isn’t enough, his deep, dark mind has to send an angry grizzly to tear into him.
Then he’s dragged feetfirst out of the jaws of death and drowning Armageddon.
“Up! Now! Let’s go!”
He opens his eyes to a brightly lit bedroom that ought to be dark. Two Juvey-cops manhandle him, grabbing his arms, preventing him from fighting back long before he’s awake enough to try.
“No! Stop! What is this?”
Handcuffs. First his right wrist, then his left.
“On your feet!”
They yank him to his feet as if he’s resisting—which he would, if he were more awake.
“Leave me alone! What’s going on?”
But in an instant he’s awake enough to know exactly what’s going on. It’s a kidnapping. But you can’t call it kidnapping when transfer papers have been signed in triplicate.
“Verbally confirm that you are Mason Michael Starkey.”