The Unwanteds, Middle Grade NovelPJV Quickie: Middle Grade madness with Lisa McMann! This is one of my favorite reads of 2012, even with a middle grade male POV, which usually isn’t my thing, so you know this one must be good.

Title: The Unwanteds
Author: Lisa McMann
Series: The Unwanteds #1
Type: Middle Grade, Dystopian
Published August 30th 2011 by Aladdin
ARC Review, copy procured ALA (yes it took me awhile!)
Rating: 5 Stars

Purchase Goodreads Author Web


McMann takes us to new levels with her world building in ‘The Unwanteds’, it’s like Harry Potter, Narnia and the Time series all rolled into one. A world where creative kids are eliminated at death farms in the Lake of Boiling Oil. In this world a boy lives, his name is Alex and he is UnWanted while his twin brother is Wanted. He is taken to the death farm expecting to go quickly, but instead everything changes and suddenly everything Alex has known has changed. Alex is introduced to the world of Artime, a place where he isn’t afraid to let his creativity show…

McMann forwards the book with a touching story about how she was inspired to write this book when she heard the art program for her children’s school was being cut. Because of it springing from this pool of thought, even though the book is geared towards middle grade readers you can tell she put careful thought into the setting and political belief system behind the story. It was thought provoking and enjoyable. A book that I couldn’t put down from the moment I read the first Chapter. Do not pass this one by, no matter what age range your are in. Parents read it and then pass it on to your children.


Readers of all ages, fans of dystopian novels both young adult dystopian and more middle grade dystopian. The POV is a young male, but he is a well-written character and is quite relatable to both genders, unlike a lot of middle grade novels. If you’ve read McMann before this might be a bit different then what you are used to, but don’t let that stop you, the woman is a genius.

Other Middle Grade Novels you might like, similar to ‘The Unwanteds’:

Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom, Book 1) by Garth Nix
The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) by Rick Riordan

Young AdultEpic BookYoung Adult DystopianYoung Male POV