90 pages 3 hours read

Scott Westerfeld


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2005

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  • Genre: Fiction; young adult science fiction/dystopian
  • Originally Published: 2005
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 770L; grades 9-12
  • Structure/Length: 3 parts; 40 chapters; approx. 425 pages; approx. 10 hours, 12 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Tally eagerly awaits the operation granted on every teen’s 16th birthday that makes each one “Pretty,” but new friend Shay plans to escape with other rebels to avoid the transformation. When authorities compel Tally to betray Shay or risk losing her chance to turn Pretty, Tally learns the truth about her conformist society and makes choices that change her path forever.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Physical appearance and body image conflicts

Scott Westerfeld, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1963 in Texas; attended Vassar College; worked as a substitute teacher and editor; best known for his Uglies series and Leviathan series (World War I-era steampunk)
  • Other Works: Pretties (2005); Specials (2006); Extras (2007)
  • Awards: A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2005); ALA Best Books for Young Adults Award (2006)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Beauty Isn’t Everything
  • Individuality Versus Community
  • The Power of Knowledge

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Learn how to identify the characteristics of science fiction literature with a focus on dystopian and utopian societies.
  • Understand how knowledge impacts the power people have access to within Westerfeld’s dystopian society.