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Recommendations for Young Adult Dystopias?

Happy birthday to mariadkins! Best wishes for a great day today and a wonderful year to come!

A few quick notes:

* marthawells has a great post here with an update on some of her fiction that's now available again. Be sure to check out her link to the Anthology Builder website (which is a very neat idea).

* FYI to those of you who, like me, are fans of Jeffrey Combs: he will guest star on Cold Case this Sunday, February 17, on CBS at 9pm EST/PST.

* Unabridged audio readings of three stories that were included in the Science Fiction: Best of the Year 2007 Edition anthology ("Hesperia and Glory" by Ann Leckie, "Inclination" by William Shunn, and "The House Beyond Your Sky" by Benjamin Rosenbaum) are now available for free download.

And now, a request for your help.

Can anyone recommend current dystopian books written specifically for young adult readers? The Guardian's recent list of the Top 10 Dystopian Novels for Teenagers is not much help with my question, as the books listed are not so-called "Young Adult" books. (They're great, but not what I'm looking for just at the moment.) I know some YA dystopias have been and are being written; I remember reading The Missing Persons League by Frank Bonham, for example, when I was younger. (Apparently it's now out of print.) Looking at today's books, it seems to me that the two most prominent writers are Lois Lowry (who has written such YA dystopias as The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger), and Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies Trilogy (which includes the YA dystopias Uglies, Pretties, Specials). Are there other important authors/books in the current YA dystopian genre you would suggest? Thanks for your help!

Poll #1138884 YA Dystopias

Besides those by Lowry and Westerfeld, what current YA dystopias do you recommend?

"Always in the dream, it seemed as if there were a destination: a something - he could not grasp what - that lay beyond the place where the thickness of snow brought the sled to a stop. He was left, upon awakening, with the feeling that he wanted, even somehow needed, to reach the something that waited in the distance. The feeling that it was good. That it was welcoming. That it was significant. But he did not know how to get there."
- Lois Lowry, The Giver


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
It's current in the sense that it's just come back into print, but how about The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Engdahl?
Feb. 15th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Many thanks! I knew you'd have a great recommendation.
Feb. 15th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Hi, EH. Feed is good. It is for 14 and up but it is the only one I could think of. The protagonists are teens.

Another teen read is Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. It is not really a dystopia, though. It is kind of a post-apocalyptic type of thing. It was quite a good book.
Feb. 15th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! Thanks so much. Feed sounds great. I've had Life as We Knew It recommended to me before - I must read it!
Feb. 15th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)

Am a ripe old 39 today and sometimes feel every second of it. LOL
Feb. 15th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
LOL! I hope you're having a great one. Just think, if you like 39, you can always plan to turn 39 again next year! *wink*
Feb. 15th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah. When I turned 29, I said when I hit 39 that was the end of the road. ROFL
Abbie [wordpress.com]
Feb. 15th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. It seems like I should have a billion suggestions for you because it feels like I read so many dystopian works in school, but alas! Most of them are on The Guardian's list. I do tend to like young adult fiction, but I don't think I know of any dystopian novels. Wish I could be of more help. If you ever need any non-dystopian young adult novel suggestions, let me know!

(Side note: I actually picked up Handmaid's Tale from the library a couple of weeks ago, got 60 pages in, and then gave up because I barely keep up with my readings for class. I can't wait to read the rest of it though!)

Feb. 15th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I am going to post about adult (or at least non-YA specific) dystopias soon. I'm working on my class reading list for next semester, can you tell? :) I'd love to know what you think of The Handmaid's Tale! I read that one in college myself, as a matter of fact!
Abbie [wordpress.com]
Feb. 16th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Now I HAVE to read it. :)

There's an illustrated children's book called Click, Clack, Moo: Cow That Type by Doreen Cronin. It's kind of like Animal Farm for children -- still not what you're looking for, but it's fun nevertheless. My mom showed it to me, and then by some weird coincidence we read it in my sophomore AP World History class.

Feb. 18th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! This is new to me; I'll definitely check it out. Thanks so much for the recommendation!
Feb. 15th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
I don't in general have much use for Ayn Rand, but I read her Anthem as a teen, and it has stuck with me on various levels ever since. It certainly reinforced my interior resistence to peer pressure & conformity. (But of course it's not really "new". But it's not on the list.)
Feb. 15th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
Good call! Right now Anthem is on my non-YA dystopia list (not to say it isn't good for YA readers, but just that it wasn't written for them specifically). I remember being struck particularly by the fact the protagonist was punished for rediscovering electricty. There's all kinds of interesting Promethean themes going on there.

Feb. 16th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I was wondering what happened to combs. I really liked Deep Space 9. I'm a big Dukat fan:)
Feb. 18th, 2008 02:00 pm (UTC)
Dukat was fantastic, too! I miss DS9. Thank heavens for DVDs. :)
Feb. 16th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
Just to expand my poll answer, I'm refering to the books The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire by John Christopher. As a kid, I really enjoyed these books about people, mainly kids, fighting against aliens who'd taken over the Earth. I've not read the prequel book When the Tripods Came, but they all can be gotten as a four book bundle.
Feb. 18th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I will definitely check this out. Thanks so much for the recommendations.
Feb. 18th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
The "Tomorrow" series by John Marsden got huge press and circulation in Oz - am fairly sure it'd have N.American distributor, too, but you may need to check on that one.

Wiki entry for "Tomorrow" series HERE.

John Marsden's bloated, over-done website HERE. Can you tell I had a good time visiting it?
Feb. 18th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
Brilliant! Thanks so much for the recommendations.
Aug. 12th, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
I am SO grateful to you for recommending this series. I'm on the sixth book now. Great stuff.
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
Hey, that's so great that you're enjoying these! I must admit that I've yet to crack the covers on even the first book...it's on my longer short-list of things to read. ;)

I wanted to make sure I'd read them by the time E. was old enough to read them (reckon I've got a few yrs yet...), but realised that by the time she was getting into novels in this way, there'll be a whole new crop of authors/books. But the classics will be waiting for her! :D *dusts set of HP novels*
Feb. 19th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
Would "A Wrinkle in Time" count as dystopian? I loved that book when I was in 4th grade.

There was a hawk in my yard today! I saw a largish bird flapping its wings slowly with something red and ragged in its talons, then it landed in a tree and I could see what it was. It was about 10" tall and a dull brownish gray in plumage.

Sadly, the Demoiselle D'Ys did not appear and call him to her wrist.
Feb. 21st, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, good point! I didn't even think about A Wrinkle in Time. *slaps forehead* What a fantastic book. Thanks for the suggestion!

Any more hawk sightings? :)
Feb. 22nd, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
Oh, good point! I didn't even think about A Wrinkle in Time. Yes, the Planet Camazotz is a fairly dystopic place. Any more hawk sightings? :) No, but the next day I saw a flock of blue jays in the same tree.
Feb. 26th, 2008 06:06 am (UTC)
This isn't a recommendation perse, but the Fire Us trilogy was very popular when I was a younger teen. The covers didn't entice me, so I never read them, but heard they were good.
Feb. 26th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! Thanks so much. I hadn't heard about this series, and it looks perfect.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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