By Lisa McMann
Alex and Aaron are twins. While they are alike physically, their personalities are different. Alex is the creative one, while Aaron is studious and a strict rule follower. Normally this wouldn't be much of a problem, but in Quill being creative is a death sentence. As they both turn 13 they are separated, with Aaron being deemed wanted in society, and Alex being deemed unwanted and thus sentenced to immediate death. But death isn't what is waiting for him. Instead he finds that creativity itself can be his salvation.
The Unwanteds is not just another dystopian novel. The book combines the depressive characteristics of this type of novel (a city full of neutral colors, no fun, and rigid societal roles) with fantasy (mixing in magic and pronouncing that creativity can overcome any obstacle). The book is well written and good for tweens of all ages, as it broaches topics like war but has little tangible violence.
Age Level: 4th Grade