This is currently a book that is an approved part of VBCPS 9th grade curriculum. This "short film" was used to introduce the book at one school. I've received complaints from multiple parents at multiple schools who have concerns about their children reading this book. I've read multiple reviews of the book but attached is the most in depth literary review. I've also spoken to a teacher who has read this book (but said would never assign it to students) and the teacher said the review is very accurate.
Here is one excerpt from the book review: Kids at the harvest camp are thrilled to meet Connor, whose reputation precedes him. Risa is assigned to play with the band, which plays on top of the Chop Shop, the building where unwinding takes place. She feels like it’s unethical to watch kids meet their end, but Dalton, a bass player, insists it’s the only way to stay alive. Lev is at the harvest camp too, but for a very different reason. After leaving the Graveyard on the “work call,” people praised Lev and replaced his blood with explosive liquid. He, Mai, and Blaine are now clappers, and plan to blow up the camp. One evening, Roland tries to strangle Connor, but he can’t go through with it. Counselors take him to be unwound the next afternoon. The experience is horrific: he’s awake and terrified the entire time. Word gets out that Connor is slated to go next. Lev insists to Mai and Blaine that they have to act soon so they can save Connor. Lev is late getting to his spot, however, and the Chop Shop explodes just after Connor steps inside. Risa and the band fall when the roof collapses. Though Lev is in excruciating emotional pain, he can’t bring himself to clap, and instead stanches Connor’s bleeding and leads the rescue effort. Connor wakes up in the hospital and learns that nurses have given him a new identity—that of a member of a wealthy local family—which saves him from unwinding and also made him eligible for emergency transplants for his eye and his arm. To his horror, Connor realizes that he received Roland’s arm. He finds Risa and learns that she refused the transplant surgery that would cure the lower body paralysis she sustained in her fall. Now, as a disabled person, she can’t be unwound.
What are your thoughts in the current environment of children struggling with mental health issues?
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