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The Unwanteds Hardcover – August 30, 2011

296 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter in this middle-grade departure from McMann’s string of paranormal mysteries with romance for young adults.

On the day of Purge in totalitarian Quill, which is run by the High Priest Justine, 13-year-olds learn if they are deemed Wanted to attend the university, Necessary to tend the land or Unwanted and purged by execution. Without a good-bye from his Wanted identical brother Aaron, Alex Stowe and the other Unwanteds travel to the Death Farm. Instead of death, they meet the lush and magical world of Artimè, kept secret from Justine by mage Marcus Today. In a third-person narration characterized by even pacing and whimsical inventions, Alex and his peers learn that their creativity threatened Justine’s power. Surrounded by talking blackboards, transporting tubes and such fantastical creatures as an octagator (with the head of an alligator and body of an octopus) for instructors, the teens hone their drawing, music and acting skills while also wielding paintbrushes for invisibility spells and iambic pentameter to stun attackers during Magical Warrior Training, in preparation for battle against the Quillitary. As the youths explore fear, responsibility and free thinking, their spells may be used sooner than they think when Alex’s twin bond is tested and rivals vie for Aaron’s new position in Justine’s government.

Blending elements from two popular genres, this is sure to be a double hit. - KIRKUS, April 15, 2011

"Imagination runs wild in this creative adventure."

--#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Mull

"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

About the Author

Lisa  McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy; Cryer's Cross; and the middle-grade dystopian fantasy series The Unwanteds. She lives with her family in the Phoenix area. Read more about Lisa and find her blog through her website at lisamcmann.com. Or better yet, be her friend on Facebook (facebook.com/mcmannfan) or follow her on Twitter (twitter.com/lisa_mcmann).
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Unwanteds (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442407689
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442407688
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (296 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Hi, I'm Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of fiction for children and young
adults.

My fantasy series for ages 9 and up is named after the first book: THE
UNWANTEDS. It's about a society where 13-year-olds are sorted into groups.
The strong and intelligent kids are Wanted and they get to go to university.
The creative and artistic kids are Unwanted and they are sent to their
deaths. Follow 13-year-old twins Aaron and Alex as they are forced down
opposite paths.

As of right now, there will be 7 books in The Unwanteds series:
Book 2, THE UNWANTEDS: Island of Silence and book 3, THE UNWANTEDS: Island
of Fire are out now.
Book 4, THE UNWANTEDS: Island of Legends releases September 2, 2014
Book 5, THE UNWANTEDS: Island of Shipwrecks releases February 3, 2015
Book 6, THE UNWANTEDS: Island of Graves releases September 15, 2015
Book 7 to come in spring 2016.

For older readers, I've also written the WAKE trilogy, about a
seventeen-year-old girl named Janie who gets sucked into other people's
dreams. I have two stand-alone young adult thrillers, CRYER'S CROSS and DEAD
TO YOU.

Also, GASP, the final book in the VISIONS series,is now available. It follows CRASH (Book 1) and BANG (Book 2). Fans of WAKE will enjoy this trilogy!

I grew up in Michigan and now I live in Arizona with my husband, two
children, and three cats.

Have a question? Find me on Instagram @lisa_mcmann, Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/McMannFan or Twitter @lisa_mcmann.

Unwanteds fans should check out the dedicated website at UnwantedsSeries.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on August 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There were some things that I liked and did not like about McMann's The Unwanteds. The premise is a good one, in order to create a stronger society you must get rid of the weak. Over the course of fifty years, the weak, or Unwanteds, began to include those who didn't conform with society. Quill was filled with emotionless people who directed all of their energy towards the greater good. People who were creative or emotional weren't giving all of their time and energy to the the country, and could eventually become troublemakers. So every year they are purged from society, and sent to the Death Farm to be tossed into the Great Lake of Boiling Oil. (Yes, it's a very melodramatic name.)

In reality, the Unwanteds are never killed, but secretly saved, hidden, and taught in the magical land of Artime. Artime is a physics defying country hidden behind illusions and the gates of the Death Farm. It's filled with rescued Unwanteds, magical animal hybrids, living statues, and a really cool mansion. For the past fifty years, the caretaker Mr. Today, has helped the rescued children build their creative talents as well as train them as magical warriors.

Story-wise, McMann has created a neat concept and her story moves at a rapid pace. The first three chapters were great and really took you into the stark world of Quill. Chapter four introduced Artime, and it was a bit overwhelming but luckily it was the only part of The Unwanteds that was like this. While the story focuses mainly on Alex, we do get to see things from his friends' POV and that really helps flesh at the characters as well as Quill and Artime. I loved that McMann's kids were allowed to be angry. They were labeled Unwanted and sent to die and they were terrified.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Karen Keyte VINE VOICE on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It would be hard to imagine a more depressing place to live than Quill. Not that anyone in the community of Quill would ever imagine anything, of course, or admit to feeling depressed. Imagination and emotion lead to infractions, so the people of Quill have neither. Those that do get labelled Unwanted and are Purged from the community at thirteen. Alexander Stowe has known for three years that he will be named an Unwanted - there's no coming back from drawing figures in the dirt with a stick. That kind of creativity could lead to anarchy. Still, it's hard to face his death serenely, and especially hard to leave his Wanted twin brother Aaron behind (although not so hard to leave his Necessary parents).

When Alex Stowe and the rest of this years' Unwanteds arrive at the Death Farm, he resolves to face the Eliminators as stoically as he can, but instead of execution by burning oil Alex comes face to face with something completely unexpected - a thing that never happens in Quill. The Death Farmer is a man literally unlike any other Alex has ever met. Marcus Today is a mage - an extremely gifted magician. Within the walls of the Death Farm Mr. Today has created Artimé - a magical world where Purged children can be kept hidden away from the eyes of Quill. In Artimé, creativity is not a crime, it's actually encouraged. For creativity, Mr. Today explains, can be a powerful weapon and the day is not far off when Quill will discover that those they have condemned to death are not dead at all - and you can be sure they will seek to rectify that situation.

Lisa McMann has a free pass with me. After the fabulous Wake trilogy and the brilliant Cryer's Cross, I'm going to buy and read anything she writes. I just know it will be worth it. So when Ms.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By L. Reeves VINE VOICE on August 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Unwanteds by author Lisa McMann is a middle grade book about a society who fears creativity in any way, shape or form. With a controlling government, a drab society and a hidden colorful and magical place where anything is possible, McMann has taken the idea of cutting out all creative programs to new heights.

When the Purge comes, the Unwanteds are cast out and sent to their death. The Wanteds remain behind to learn, follow rules and never step out of line. Alex and his twin Aaron will both face a different fate. One Wanted and one Unwanted.

The story takes place in drab, colorless and more than harsh Quill. Alex and his brother knew the day was coming when they would be separated. Alex, the Unwanted of the two is purged from society and taken away from everything he knows, while Aaron, the Wanted brother stays behind to go to school and learn ways to better Quill and the controlling people in charge. Quill doesn't sound like a place I'd want to live; I can't imagine anyone wanting to stay there for long. Barbed wire covering the sky, shared buckets of water for washing... yeah, not fun, no art or being creative in anyway... yeah, no thanks!

So, Alex, on his way to his death gets a shock when he, along with all other Unwanteds from his purge are saved and taken to a colorful, artistic and magical place called Artime. The best part of the story was watching the characters change as they learned that expressing yourself through art isn't a bad thing and it should be encouraged instead of taken away. Taking a persons creativity away takes away too much of who they are, what they are and what they will become.

The whole idea for the story was great...
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