Monday, August 22, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann--and an ARC Giveaway!

Not gonna lie--I am still WIPED from WriteOnCon. But now that it's over I'm *trying* to get things back to normal, so I made SURE I had an MMGM for you this week. And today I'm featuring a book I am SOOOOOO excited about: THE UNWANTEDS, by Lisa McMann.


LOVE this cover. I mean, who doesn't want to know what's going on there?

And here's the copy from the book jacket:

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths

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.

In Artime, 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.


So ... it's a dystopian middle grade fantasy (or as Kirkus described it: Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games). HOW INSANELY COOL IS THAT????

ahem.

I'd actually been dying to read this book even before I'd seen the awesome cover or read the plot description. I'd heard Lisa read the first chapter at a signing FOREVER ago and it was the kind of chapter where it was like: OMG I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT!!! (honestly, it was kind of evil of her to leave us hanging that way :D). Plus, it's not every day a mega-successful YA author writes something middle-grade. So as soon as I heard there were ARCs in circulation I emailed my friend at S&S begging for a copy. And definitely squealed when one arrived in my mailbox (okay, I might have bragged about it on Twitter too) (I'm kind of evil as well.) 

And it was so worth the begging!

Her kids are genuine, authentic kids with relatable kid voices, her plot is fast paced and fun, and the world she created is so wonderfully imaginative. More than that though, I love the idea of this book. Of showing kids to celebrate their creativity, to see it as a true power in their lives. And for any kid who's ever felt "unwanted" by their peers (which ... uh ... is probably about 90% of kids in middle school) I love that this book tells them, hey--it's okay to be Unwanted. It's actually the coolest thing to be. Such an empowering message, hidden amongst a whole lot of magic and action and adventure. It's sure to be a hit with kids of all ages--and parents alike. And I highly recommend it to all of you.

THE UNWANTEDS comes out August 30th, but in the meantime I'm sharing my ARC with one lucky winner. To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment on this post by 11:59 PM PDT on Friday, August 26th. I'll draw one lucky winner and post their name on Saturday, August 27th. International entries welcome!

Ready? Set? Go!

For more middle grade love, make sure you check out these other MMGMs floating around the blogosphere:

- Shannon O'Donnell's featuring WILDWOOD--with a giveaway! Click HERE for details!

- Joanne Fritz is highlighting BIGGER THAN A BREADBOX. Click HERE to read her review.

- Myrna foster is gushing about the AMULET series of graphic novels. Click HERE to learn more about them.


- Pam Torres is showcasing CRUNCH. Click HERE to learn more about it. 


- Anita Layton Miller has a whole host of awesome MG recommendations. Click HERE to find them.


- Please welcome Ms Yingling--a fabulous school librarian--to the MMGM crew! Today she's got two fabulous middle grade recommendations for everyone. Click HERE to see what they are.

And I've gotten A LOT of emails from people recently, wondering what MMGM is, if they can participate, etc. Basically, it's something I created to encourage people to spread a little middle-grade love throughout the blogosphere (since MG tends to sometimes be a bit overlooked)--so it is DEFINITELY "the more the merrier." If you want to join in all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier--and better for you--if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do. Simple. Easy. And it's a whole lot of fun. 

I know I've been kind of irregular about it for the last few months--and I REALLY appreciate those of you who carried the torch even without me.  I promise I am going to try my hardest to get back in the habit and support this meme again--and I'd love any of you to join in with me. Let's show the blogopshere all the awesome MG they've been missing out on--there's a LOT of it! *fist pump* :)

Happy Monday!

52 comments:

  1. This sounds so awesome. I'd love to win! If not, I'll have to get it.

    And hope you're getting some rest after last week.

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  2. Love the cover. I bet you're tired this week. I'm raiding your archives for some MG tips. Going to try an MG idea I have. So long pbs and chapter books, I'll miss you.

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  3. MMGM is a great feature. Harry Potter meets Hunger Games - oh my, sounds amazing!

    And a huge thanks and congrats for a very impressive WriteOnCon. My eyes are finally recovering from the hours of screen time - hope you have some time to relax now!

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  4. Happy Monday to you lovely Shannon!! And YAYAYAYAYYAYAY for WriteOnCon!!! Well done you!!

    Oooh love the info and review on this fun dystopian book! Take care
    x

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  5. I promised myself I wouldn't buy anymore books until I tackled my TBR pile, but this sounds like it's worth breaking my promise. Thanks for the recommendation. =o)

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  6. I saw a PW email about this, and I remember thinking at the time, holy WHAT? I mean, HP meets HG -- where do you even go after a comp like that? Must be amazing.

    And while I'm here, I'll pour confetti on your head, because WriteOnCon was AWESOME.

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  7. I am DYING to read this one! Sounds ultra-awesome!

    Shelley

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  8. hi miss shannon! wow for sure i could wanna read this book! just looking at the cover its one id pick up and look inside cause i could see its gonna be exciting. i hope i could be lucky and be a winner.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  9. I'm so excited to read Lisa's MG book. I looooved her YA series so I know this will rock.

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  10. This one sounds AWESOME! Hunger Games meets Harry Potter??? Are you kidding me??? Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  11. Book sounds very interesting and the cover is amazing! Thank you very much.

    artgiote at gmail dot com

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  12. Oooooo! I want this one!! Sounds completely awesome!

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  13. I would LOVE to read this. Never saw an ARC at the store. And if Kirkus gushes about it, it must be fantastic.

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  14. Ohh, the Kirkus description is absolutely awesome! Count me in!

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  15. This sounds like a really awesome book and the cover is just amazing!

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  16. Welcome back, oh WOC great one. Thanks for another way cool WOC. Still have some catching up to do, too. This sounds awesome. I'd love to read it.

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  17. Sounds like a great book. Love dystopian and nice to see it in middle-grade, not just YA.

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  18. I'd love to read this. Thanks!
    jpetroroy at gmail dot com

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  19. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. Tore923@aol.com

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  20. Wow, thanks for sharing your ARC with us, that's awesome! :D
    I'm a new follower of course and my e-mail is alaiel.kreuz@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    Alaiel

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  21. Yay! I've been waiting for this one for a while! <3

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  22. Harry Potter meets Hunger Games? Can't me in! I can't wait to read this! I really love Lisa McMann's stories and it's really awesome she wrote a Middle Grade series. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  23. What a cool cover! Sounds like an amazing story. My 9 yo and I have a Mommy/Daughter book club, and this book is going on the list. :)

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  24. Thanks for the amazing giveaway!!

    I'm a GFC follower-Janhvi Jagtap

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

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  25. This book looks SOOO good!!! Thank you for this awesome giveaway!! =D

    BeneaththeDay@yahoo.com

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  26. Ooh, this sounds great! Would love to win a copy. :)

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  27. Okay, Harry Potter + Hunger Games? How is this even real?! Haha. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  28. thanks, Shannon! You're the best now get some rest :)

    Shiela

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  29. Thanks for the giveaway! I love these Middle Grade Monday posts - lots of great books, a lot of them that I haven't heard of!

    susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

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  30. Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!!

    Im a follower

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  31. Sounds fantastic!
    GFC follower

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  32. Give it to me!!! Lisa's my girl! She is a genius and I can't wait to read this one.

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  33. Thank you! I really want to win this book :)

    magabygc at gmail.com

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  34. Although I hate when books are refered to as a mixture of other books (why can't they be unique?), I can not deny the possible awesomeness of a book that is like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Please enter me!

    jennapomme[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  35. What a great way to get back into MMGM!!!!! As I am taught by 100% of this grade level (and love all of Lisa's books), I cant wait to read it...to share, of course!:)

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  36. This book sounds awesome! :D I would love to win it :) Thank you so much for the chance. <3
    Love, Carina ~ carina-olsen@hotmail.com

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  37. I love Lisa mcmann's books so I can't wait to read this one too! Thanks for the great review and giveaway!
    -Casey
    caseyplew@yahoo.com

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  38. This sounds so amazing!! Can't wait to read it. Love the blog!! And I love WriteOnCon :)


    http://thewrittenword-jlr.blogspot.com/

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  39. This must be one of those very rare times where comparing the book to Harry Potter worked in the author's favour.

    By the way, it's my birthday on Friday. I'm just sayin'.

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  40. This books sounds totally awesome! I. Must. Read! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  41. I so, so SO WANT to read this! I've been excited about it for what feels like forever, and now I'm even MORE excited! Fantastic review (as always), #1. :-)

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  42. WANT THIS BOOK! Happy Monday, er it's Tuesday, but oh well.
    mjlnmorris@gmail.com

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  43. Wow! This does sound like an awesome book. Must read this!! Thanks~

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  44. Count me in! This looks quite good!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  45. I've been trying to get a copy of this forever!

    I'm a follower!

    thecozyreader @ gmail.com

    Thanks!

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  46. This sounds amazing! I'm so glad I found this before it ended! Thanks! wilsondev(at)gmail(dot)com.
    I'm a follower!

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  47. Sounds like a great one!

    Thanks for all you do to share the MG love!

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  48. I love your MMGM! This sounds like a great read!

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  49. This sounds like an awesome book and I'm looking forward to reading it one way or the other. :) Thanks for the ARC giveaway Shannon!

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3