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Dystopian books 2022

Feel kinda like you're living in a dystopian sci-fi/fantasy story? You're not alone. The Guide/Reviews Database: Subject: Dystopias has lots of book recommendations; mostly YA, some middle-grade, and a handful of picture books (hi, Tomi Ungerer!). See also "What Makes a Good YA Dystopian Novel?" (from 2012) and other links and...

Foreseeable futures

Speculative fiction can provide an effective vehicle for authors to comment on and critique the state of our own world. The following new YA novels examine timely social issues in new settings, whether far-flung galaxies or uncomfortably close-to-home dystopian societies. (And by the way, did you know The Hunger Games...

Review of the Killer of Enemies trilogy

Killer of Enemiesby Joseph BruchacMiddle School, High School     Tu/Lee & Low     358 pp.10/13     978-1-62014-143-4     $19.95     gA deadly assassin with extrasensory powers that help her locate her adversaries, Lozen works as a monster-killer, taking out genetically modified superbeasts — giant bloodthirsty eagles, the vampiric Bloodless, a colossal anaconda —...

Dystopian teen heroes

These four novels envision authoritarian societies, some in the future, some not-so-futuristic, that cause their teenage protagonists to take revolutionary action.Under Little Town's strict Regime, no one crosses the border to or from Old Country — until the Duda family arrives as refugees. Protagonist Charlie befriends teenager Pavel Duda and...


[In anticipation of The CW’s forthcoming "gritty" adaptation of Little Women]My name is Jo March. My home is Concord, Massachusetts. I live with my mother and three sisters while my father fights in the war.No, even that’s wrong.My name is Jo March. My home is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My half-sisters and...

Brave new worlds

Along with questions about technological and scientific advances, these recent YA novels — three sci-fi adventures and one science-centric historical fantasy — implicitly explore issues of social justice, inviting readers to think critically about our own world.Having escaped from prisonlike Haven in Killer of Enemies, a battle-hardened Lozen now leads...

Allegiant movie review

Last spring, the inimitable Siân reviewed Insurgent, the second movie in the Divergent series. Among her observations: “Things exploded. A lot.”I doubt it will surprise anyone that in Allegiant (directed by Robert Schwentke; Summit, March 2016; PG-13), the third adaptation in the trilogy — no, wait, the first part of...

Reviews of Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy

The Hunger Games [Hunger Games]by Suzanne CollinsMiddle School, High School     Scholastic      374 pp.10/08     978-0-439-02348-1      $17.99Survivor meets “The Lottery” as the author of the popular Underland Chronicles returns with what promises to be an even better series. The United States is no more, and the new Capitol, high in the...

Insurgent movie review

Not having read the Divergent series, I thought myself a great choice of reviewer for the movies — I am a clean slate, after all. And Divergent was fun. It had action, sacrifice, kickassery, feminine heroism, and Rose from Titanic. It had fighting and loving and tattoos and whooping and...

Dystopian YA lit panel at MIT

moderator Marah Gubar with Kristin Cashore and Kenneth KiddLast night MIT hosted a Communications Forum, "Coming of Age in Dystopia: The Darkness of Young Adult Fiction." The discussion was moderated by associate professor of literature Marah Gubar, with panelists Kenneth Kidd, children's literature scholar and author (Freud in Oz) and...

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