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Whaley, John Corey.
New York : Atheneum Books, 2014

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

If you were dying, would you have your head chopped off and frozen until a cure is found? What about your family and friends? Would it be too weird to wake up with everyone you knew older by five years or more? This is what happens to Travis. He is 16, has leukemia and decides to have his head frozen. When science had found a cure, they woke him up. His head was sewn onto a donated body (some strange guy that Travis doesn’t even know) so that Travis could continue his life, but his girlfriend was in love with someone else. Life has gone on for his friends who are now 21 while Travis is still 16.    (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Booktalk #2

Travis is truly one of a kind. Well, he’s actually one of two kinds. Five years ago 16 year old Travis was dying of a cancer that had ravaged his entire body. Dr Saranson from the Sarason Center for Life Preservation approached Travis about saving his life. Dr Sarason wanted to use cryogenics to save Travis and bring him back to life in the future. Travis and his parents were initially skeptical about freezing only Travis’s head, but they were out of options. So Travis is now one boy made from two – his head and another boy’s body. Although Travis was only gone for five years, life has gone without him. His friends are older, his girlfriend is with someone else, and no one is really sure how to treat him. Read Noggin to hear about how Travis has to learn how to adjust to his new body and new life. John Corey Whaley’s novel is filled with a lot of humor, a little bit of science, and issues all teens can relate to. (Prepared by: Susan Aplin, Dutch Fork High School, SCASL Young Adult Book Award, 2016)

Booktalk #3

Imagine waking up in an operating room after being comatose for 5 years. Then realizing that your head is on a totally different body! And not just any body (excuse the pun), but an athletic build with muscles and fitness you could only dream about. Well, this is what happens to Travis in this amazing medical rom-com/ psychological thriller.

It was five years ago that Travis, whose body from the neck down, had been defeated by cancer, and he signed up for a medical experiment. No one, including his family and serious girlfriend, knew for sure if the experiment would work so everyone said their gut wrenching goodbyes. And now here Travis is, awake, in a new and improved body wondering what his next move should be. All his former high school friends have moved on and are out of college, and on top of that his former girlfriend is engaged. Can he get her back? He will certainly try, and at a girls night karaoke nonetheless (and he sings the song Head Over Heels which is my favorite part).

Not only does this author dish out the brilliant losing your head puns, but he also brings up issues about medical experimentation, cloning, genes, and the timeless essential question "Should medicine take the initiative to extend life no matter what the circumstances or moral implications?" This book is Unwind meets Fault in our Stars meets Ferris Beuller's Day Off.
(Kathleen Dunbar, Teacher-Librarian, Eastlake High School Library, Sammamish, Washington, Evergreen Teen Award, 2017)

SUBJECTS:     Death -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Missouri -- Kansas City -- Fiction.
                        Identity -- Fiction.
                        Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
                        Science fiction.
                        Transplantation of organs, tissues, etc. -- Fiction.


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