The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem

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Medford lives on a neat, orderly island called—simply—Island.      Islanders like names that say exactly what a thing (or a person) is or does. Nothing less.      Islanders like things (and people) to do what their names say they will. Nothing more.      In fact, everything on Island is named for its purpose, even the people who inhabit it. But Medford Runyuin is different. A foundling, he has a meaningless last name that is just one of many reminders that he's an outsider. And, to make matters worse, Medford's been keeping a big secret, one that could get him banished from Island forever.     When the smelliest, strangest, unruliest creature Island has ever seen comes barreling right into his rigid world, Medford can’t help but start to question the rules he’s been trying to follow his entire life.      A whimsical fantasy debut about belonging, the dangers of forgetting history, and the Usefulness of art, The Unnameables is one of the funniest stories of friendship you’ll ever read, with a cast of characters you’ll never forget.  

About Ellen Booraem

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Ellen Booraem ( is the author of two highly praised middle grade novels. This is her third book.
Published October 1, 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 339 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books. Fiction

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On Island, “thou art thy name.” At age 14, residents receive their names and their vocations from the Council.

Sep 01 2008 | Read Full Review of The Unnameables


He encourages Medford to challenge the Island conventions and see the beauty and power of things that are “useless.” Medford's rebellion spreads across the Island, and the Islanders must choose to join Medford in search of personal happiness or keep their own secrets hidden forever.

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Unnameables

A Patchwork of Books

These books are smart, entertaining, historical fantasy, and so Marie Rutkoski is on list of authors whose new books I will trot out to the store to buy (there are a very small number of authors (maybe three) whose books I will run as fast as I can to the store for, and many more I will wander to...

Apr 24 2008 | Read Full Review of The Unnameables

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