The dystopian fiction genre has taken the book world by storm, with such well-received hits like The Hunger Games and Divergent. With the dynamic duo of suspense and futuristic undertones, as well as a setting where anything goes, it’s a no brainer why this genre has rapidly grown in popularity. But aside from surviving man-eating monkeys or outrunning Grievers, this genre serves an immense amount of variety.
It did not occur to me that I have been a fan of this genre since I was as young as twelve. Dystopian fiction was not all that popular during my youth, they were still present but as a different appearance. They existed in the forms of A Wrinkle in Time and The Giver, but by far, my personal favorite dystopian novel of my childhood is Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth. On the outside, it may not appear to fall in this category-but it totally is! Keep in mind that this novel was first published way back in 1961.Once you look past its zany puns and playful exterior, the Kingdom of Wisdom was pretty troubled. Not to give away too many spoilers, but there’s a scene where the young protagonist Milo gets arrested unfairly for the silliest reasons. Or how the harmonious princesses get banished simply because they believed letters and number were equally important.
With that being said, the list I have compiled include several dystopian novels that I’m very fond of (including The Phantom Tollbooth), a couple that are lesser known but still awesome reads, and some that I recently read and enjoyed. Regardless, the purpose of creating this list is to show our young patrons that there are other fantastic dystopian novels outside of big names like The 5th Wave and The Maze Runner. I vouch for all these titles and are surly to be hits to the right reader.
Brace yourselves fellow thrill-seekers!
Amulet Series by Kazu Kibuishi
The Missing Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The City of Ember Series by Jeanne Duprau
Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
Among the Hidden Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Legend Series by Marie Lu
Candor by Pam Bachorz
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Gossamer by Lois Lowry
The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman