The Unwanteds

by Lisa McMann
Release date: August 25, 2011
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, young adult

Quill prevails when the strong survive. Using this notion as the core of their society, the people of Quill partake in a yearly ceremony, wherein children at the age of thirteen are divided into three categories – the Wanteds, the Necessaries, and the Unwanteds. Wanted children will move on to schooling and training to join the Quillitary and fufill their roles in maintaining an efficient life for all, while Necessaries will take on farm work and similar duties. Any child who has shown a propensity toward emotion or creativity is deemed Unwanted, and sent for elimination.

Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret – behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime, where every Unwanted child has been welcomed by a man named Mr. Today.

Artime is a special place full of art, music, theater, and magic, where each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation. But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

(updated 2012-08-16)

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