Young at Heart discussion

Dystopia novels

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message 1: by Linda (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:52AM) (new)

Linda I just started teaching The Giver for a small homeschooling Jr. High class, and they all love it. Two of them finished the whole book the first week. One girl asked what other similar books I could recommend. She has read The Uglies. I'm not sure if she is ready for Brave New World or 1984. I just finished Gathering Blue, which I didn't think was as good as The Giver, but maybe reading the sequel will help. Does anyone know other good dystopia-type stories I could recommend for Jr. Highers? I thought of Lord of the Flies. Does anyone know anything about The Hunger Games?

message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) I posted in the other group where you posted this too but:

I loved The Hunger Games, despite it being very violent.

Two of my favorite ya dystopic books (ages 11 or 12 & up) are by the same author and are companion books:

Life as We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone.

They're more science fiction (nature caused chaos) but I think they qualify as dystopian in a sense, even though an evil society is not involved.

message 3: by Janni (new)

Janni I love dystopic books! (Hmm, did I sound a little too cheerful when I said that? :-))

I've been especially enjoying post-apocalyptic books the past few years--I've been keeping a list of them over at

message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda Wow Janni, I looked at your list. I've never even heard of most of them. Any particular ones that are favorites that you would recommend to 12-13 yo girls (besides The Uglies)?

message 5: by Janni (new)

Janni I adored The Hunger Games and Life As We Knew It. (I'm also fond of Bones of Faerie, but, well, I can't claim to be unbiased about that one. :-))

message 6: by Lisa (last edited Nov 22, 2008 09:26AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) William, Actually The Dead and the Gone is considered a companion book (not a sequel) to Life as We Knew It. Same world situation with different characters in a different setting. Both are great although I did prefer Life as We Knew It.

Edit: Someone told me the author is trying to decide whether to write a book with a third set of characters or to do a sequel to one or both of the characters in the first two books. I'm just thrilled that there will be another book!

message 7: by Janni (new)

Janni You know, when I first read Rash I thought it was only okay, but it's really stayed with me since then, especially in those moments when I'm reminded we're not as far from the world of the book as it might seem ...

message 8: by Lucy (new)

Lucy  (lucytc) | 2 comments I don't know--I think there's a fine line between dystopian and post-apocalyptic (or just plain apocalyptic) and I don't think LAWKI and d&g cross it. To be dystopian, I think there needs to be a society that has changed into something different, a new flavor. It needs to be a society that's a reflection of our current society--a dangerous "if this goes on" kind of place.

Post-apocalyptic merely deals with the end of the world as we know it.

From what I've heard of Susan Beth Pfeffer's third book in that sequence, it could fall more squarely into the dystopian section. But this first two are too close to the disaster for society to really have had time to recreate itself.

message 9: by Lucy (new)

Lucy  (lucytc) | 2 comments I just finished The Resistance by Gemma Malley, the sequel to The Declaration. They are heavily dystopian, almost painful to read at times. Has anyone here read them?

message 10: by Janni (new)

Janni I haven't, but added them to my to-read list after I read your reviews. :-)

message 11: by Janni (new)

Janni The whole question of when a book is post-apocalyptic, when it's dystopian, and when it's both is kind of interesting.

Just because the world has ended doesn't mean it's dystopic, and the world doesn't have to end for it to be same. Interesting to see where they overlap and where they don't.

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