Dystopian Genre?

I was recently talking to a group of teenagers and asked them how many of them liked The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Almost everyone raised their hands, but when I asked the same group if they knew what the dystopian genre was, only one knew what I was talking about.  I really wasn’t surprised by this. Readers, young and old, have fallen in love with the hit series The Hunger Games, and are looking for more books that fall into this genre. They just don’t know where to look.

I have to admit, the word dystopia did not enter my vocabulary until this last year, as I was trying to find ideas for the teen book club. Our club likes to change it up a bit every month, and choose books from different genres. It came time for us to read another science fiction book and I wanted to find something kind of like The Hunger Games. As I was looking, I came across Matched by Ally Condie. While reading the back cover, I noticed that there was a quote by another author using the word “Dystopian” and comparing the novel to The Hunger Games. I was immediately interested in it, and had to know what a dystopian novel was.

The easiest way to describe dystopian is to start with utopian. Most people recognize a utopian society as one where everyone is satisfied and everything is in perfect working order. A dystopian society however, is just the opposite. Dystopian societies are often characterized by negative elements of political, environmental or social issues that plague its members. Being a Hunger Games fan myself, I was immediately interested in finding more books in this genre! I have now found that there are so many great dystopian books out there! If this sounds interesting to you, here is a list of just a few dystopian novels that you can find at your local library.

Great Dystopian Novels

Matched by Ally Condie (Series)

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Series)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Series)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Series)

Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Series)

New In 2012!

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Insignia by S. J. Kincaid

Next month (October 11, 5:00 PM) the Teen Book Club at the Harrisonville Branch will be doing another dystopian novel, Blood Red Road by Moria Young. I hope you love these books as much as we do!

– Davette Dean, Library Assistant, Harrisonville Branch