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The Unwanteds


The Unwanteds

Alethea Allarey

Official Links

Written by Lisa McMann

Published by Aladdin, 2011

2013-2014 Nominee - Intermediate

2014 Winner - Intermediate

When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination. It’s hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate--until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artim. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation. But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artim that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle.

Meet the Author

Lisa McMann was born in Holland, Michigan on February 27, 1968. Her works
include the Wake trilogy, The Unwanteds series, Cryer’s Cross, Dead to You,
Crash, and the Infinity Ring series. She lives with her family in the Phoenix area.
Read more about Lisa at


  • What if you were never allowed to draw, paint, sing, dance, or express any artistic qualities whatsoever? What would it be like to live in a society without art? In the land of Quill, expressing your artistic talents could get you killed!
  • If you could travel to a land filled with magic, what powers would you hope to have? What would you expect it to look like? Would you want just anyone to be able to come there?
  • Twins are said to have special bonds and ways of communicating with each other that non-twins do not. If you had a twin, what sort of adventures can you imagine having with your twin if you could communicate without anyone knowing it?


Read the Sequel to The Unwanteds:
McMann, Lisa, Island of Silence. Aladdin, 2012.

Read more stories about Twins:
Avi, Rachel Vail, Never Mind!: A Twin Novel. Harper Trophy, 2005.
Catanese, P.W., The Mirror’s Tale: A Further Tales Adventure. Aladdin, 2006.
Gates, Susan, Beyond the Billboard. Harcourt, 2007.
Koller, Jackie French, The Wizard’s Scepter (The Keepers, Book 3). Aladdin, 2004.
Lerangis, Peter, Hide and Seek. Scholastic, 2004.
Rubel, Nicole, Twice As Nice; What It’s Like to Be a Twin. Farrar, Straus and
Giroux, 2004.

Read more stories about Magic:
Constable, Kate, The Waterless Sea. Random House, 2006.
Cooper, Susan, The Dark is Rising. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1999 (2nd in a
series of 5 books)
Drake, Emily, The Magickers. Daw Books, 2001.
Flavin, Teresa, The Blackhope Enigma. Candlewick Press, 2011.
Kerr, Philip, The Akhenaten Adventure. Orchard, 2004.
Roberts, Rachel, The Heart of Avalon. CDS Books, 2005.
Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Scholastic Press, 2003 (1st in a
series of 7 books).

Read more about Creativity:
Tolan, Stephanie S., Applewhites at Wit’s End. Harper, 2012.

For more information, please check the 2013-2014 Resource Guide - Intermediate.