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The Unidentified
by Rae Mariz
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 12 and up
LEXILE READING LEVEL: HL740L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2010
NO. PAGES: 304
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Female
ISBN: 0061802085
READ & REVIEWED BY: Jen - StorySnoop


The Story
The Unidentified—Book Review

Fifteen-year-old Katey (aka Kid) does not go to school in the traditional sense. Rather, she attends The Game, playing through the different levels. That's because when the government ran out of money for education, sponsors took over and converted old shopping malls to Game locations all over the country. Now everybody wins: the government is off the hook, the students get an education, and the sponsors have 24/7 access to kids for market research. After Kid witnesses a disturbing anti-sponsor stunt, she is intrigued by it's defiant message and determined to uncover those who are responsible. In the process, her trendspotting insights catch the attention of the sponsors, and Kid winds up "branded," which brings her status and privilege. But Kid learns the hard way that when it comes to sponsors, even rebellion can be used to make a profit.
The Scoop
The Unidentified—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

The Unidentified is a thought-provoking look at a society in which education is run by corporate sponsors who promote a culture of consumerism. Some readers may recognize that our current culture is not that far from the one described in the book, and it may be interesting to discuss the impact of marketing on teens in general. The main character's authentic voice is relatable, and the story accurately reflects the current value system of teens, which has been shaped by technology-driven experiences with cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter. One character pops a pill (sanctioned by Game administrators) at a party, there are a few brief kisses, and language is relatively mild (sh-t, b-stard, a-s, b-tch).
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The Unidentified—Book Review

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