Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fictions

Dystopian and post-apocalyptic fictions often overlap each other. Recently both genres have experienced a surge in popularity, with books such as The Hunger Games, City of Ember, and Incarceron generating newfound interest in these areas. Publisher’s Weeklyhas a good article, “Children’s Books: Apocalypse Now,” about this trend. Included in this bibliography is a mix of newer and classic examples of these genres. The majority of these books are for young adults, while a few (City of Ember and Witch & Wizard) span late elementary school level reading as well.

*Article cited: Springen, Karen. “Children’s Books: Apocalypse Now.” Publishersweekly.com. Publishers Weekly, 15 Feb 2010.

Anderson, M.T.
Feed. 2002.
In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.
[Education Storage S.An2415f]

Bertagna, Julie.
Exodus. 2008.
In the year 2100, as the island of Wing is about to be covered by water, fifteen-year-old Mara discovers the existence of New World sky cities that are safe from the storms and rising waters, and convinces her people to travel to one of these cities in order to save themselves.
[Education S Collection S. B4611e]

Collins, Suzanne.
The Hunger Games. 2008.
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through a gory annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place. See also the sequel Catching Fire.
[Education S Collection S. C696h]

Dashner, James.
The Maze Runner. 2009.
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.
[Education S Collection S. D2609m]

Dobkin, Bonnie.
Neptune’s Children. 2008.
When a biological terrorist attack kills all adults on Earth, children stranded at an amusement park work together to survive, led by Milo whose father was an engineer there, but when new threats arise and suspicions grow, rebellion erupts.
[Education S Collection S. D654n]

Dunkle, Clare B.
The Sky Inside. 2008.
Martin lives in a “perfect world” under the protective dome of suburb HM1, where every year a new generation of genetically-engineered children is shipped out to meet their parents. Then a stranger comes to take away a group of children, including Martin’s sister, Cassie, and no one wants to talk about where they have gone. Martin has a choice either to remain in the dubious safety of HM1, or to break out of the suburb into the mysterious land outside.
[Center for Children’s Books S. D921s]

DuPrau, Jeanne.
City of Ember. 2003.
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. She soon finds that her underground city cannot survive much longer. See also the sequels People of Sparks, Prophet of Yonwood, and Diamond of Darkhold.
[Education S Collection S.D928c]

Fisher, Catherine.
Incarceron. 2010.
To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.
[Uni High Fiction F531i]

Goodman, Allegra.
The Other Side of the Island. 2008.
Born in the eighteenth year of Enclosure, ten-year-old Honor lives in a highly regulated colony with her defiant parents, but when they have an illegal second child and are taken away, it is up to Honor and her friend Helix, another “unpredictable,” to uncover a terrible secret about their island and the corporation that runs everything.
[Education S Collection S. G621o]

Grant, Michael.
Gone. 2008.
In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have “The Power” and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.
[Education S Collection S. G76724g]

Huxley, Aldous.
Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited. 1965.
Brave New World is Huxley’s fictional vision of the future, where through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. Brave New World Revisitedis nonfiction and compares the modern-day world with the fantasy of Brave New World, including threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion.
[Education S Collection S.H982B1965]

Lawrence, Louise.
Children of the Dust. 1985.
After a nuclear war devastates the earth, a small band of people struggles for survival in a new world where children are born with strange mutations.
[Education Storage S.L4372CH]

Lowry, Lois.
The Giver. 1993.
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
[Education S Collection S. L955g1994]

Malley, Gemma.
The Declaration. 2007.
In 2140 England, where drugs enable people to live forever and children are illegal, teenaged Anna, an obedient “Surplus” training to become a house servant, discovers that her birth parents are trying to find her.
[Education S Collection S. M2966d]

McNaughton, Janet.
The Secret Under My Skin. 2000.
In the year 2368, humans exist under dire environmental conditions and one young woman, rescued from a work camp and chosen for a special duty, uses her love of learning to discover the truth about the planet’s future and her own dark past.
[Education Storage S. M459se]

Ness, Patrick.
The Knife of Never Letting Go. 2008.
Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World. See also book two The Ask and the Answer, and book three Monsters of Men — coming September 2010.
[Education S Collection S. N373k]

O’Brien, Robert.
Z is for Zachariah. 1975.
Seemingly the only person left alive after the holocaust of a war, a young girl is relieved to see a man arrive into her valley until she realizes that he is a tyrant and she must somehow escape.
[Education Storage S.Ob61z]

Orwell, George.
1984. 1961.
George Orwell’s famous novel is a satire on the possible horrors of a totalitarian regime in England in 1984.
[Uni High Fiction Orw92n2008]

Patterson, James and Gabrielle Charbonnet.
Witch & Wizard. 2009.
A sister and brother, along with thousands of young people, have been kidnapped and either thrown in prison or turned up missing after accusations of witchcraft were made against them, and the ruling regime will do anything in order to suppress life and liberty, music and books.
[Education S Collection S. P277w]

Pfeffer, Susan Beth.
Life as We Knew It. 2006.
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. See also the companion novel The Dead and the Gone and the sequel to both novels, This World We Live In.
[Education S Collection S. P475l]

Ryan, Carrie.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth. 2009.
Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead. The second book in this series is The Dead-Tossed Waves. The third book is due out in spring 2011.
[Education S Collection S. R952f]

Westerfeld, Scott.
Uglies. 2005.
In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world — and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. See also sequels Pretties, Specials, and Extras.
[Uni High Fiction W5233u]

Beating the Winter Blues: Stories of Adventure and Survival

“It was too cold to go out; it was too wet to play…”

These familiar opening words of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat highlight the winter woes that descend this time of year. Tempers and daylight hours are short, temperatures and moods are low, and everyone seems to be catching a case of cabin fever. While the relief of a madcap talking cat bursting through the front door is unlikely, a wealth of adventure and survival tales are available to whisk young readers into far-off places, daring quests, and heart-pounding escapes. The books on this selected list of survival and adventure titles can be found in the Education and Social Science Library S-Collection. Additional titles in this genre can be located by entering “adventure and adventurers – – juvenile fiction” or “survival – – juvenile fiction” into a subject search in the UIUC online catalog.

Stewart, Paul
Beyond the Deepwoods (Edge Chronicles Book 1). 2004.
Young Twig lives in the Deepwoods, among the Woodtrolls, but he isn’t one of them. In a brave attempt to find out where he belongs, Twig wanders into the mysterious, dangerous world beyond the deepwoods.
[Education S Collection: S.St497b]

Lisle, Janet Taylor
Black Duck. 2006.
Years afterwards, Ruben Hart tells the story of how, in 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, his family and his best friend’s family were caught up in the violent competition among groups trying to control the local rum-smuggling trade.
[Education S-Collection: S.L689b]

Mason, Prue
Camel Rider. 2007.
Two expatriates living in a Middle Eastern country, twelve-year-old Adam from Australia and Walid from Bangladesh, must rely on one another when war breaks out and they find themselves in the desert, both trying to reach the same city with no water, little food, and no common language.
[Education S-Collection: S.M381ca]

Hausman, Gerald
Escape from Botany Bay: The True Story of Mary Bryant. 2003.
In 1791, after being transported to Australia in the first shipment of convicts, Mary Bryant, her husband, two children, and seven other convicts, unable to endure the terrible conditions of the penal colony, organize a daring escape in an open boat.
[Education S-Collection: S.H295es]

Stewart, Paul
Fergus Crane (Far-Flung Adventures Book 1). 2004.
Nine-year-old Fergus Crane’s life is filled with classes on the school ship Betty Jeanne, interesting neighbors, and helping with his mother’s work until a mysterious box flies into his window and leads him toward adventure.
[Education S Collection: S.St497fe]

Williams, Suzanne.
Flight of the Silver Turtle. 2006.
Ben, Zara, Sam, and Marcia begin their summer vacation by helping Professor Ampersand and a new friend build the Silver Turtle, a futuristic airplane, but on the day the first test flight is planned, a strange woman steals the airplane with the children inside.
[Education S-Collection: S.F222f]

Hopkinson, Deborah.
Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco. 2006.
Days after arriving in San Francisco from Texas, eleven-year-old orphan Nicholas Dray tries to help his new neighbors survive the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the subsequent fires.
[Education S-Collection: S.H77f]

Morpurgo, Michael
Kensuke’s Kingdom. 2003.
When Michael is swept off his family’s yacht, he washes up on a desert island, where he struggles to survive–until he finds he is not alone.
[Education Storage: S.M829k]

Fleischman, Sid
Midnight Horse. 1990.
Touch enlists the help of The Great Chaffalo, a ghostly magician, to thwart his great-uncle’s plans to put Touch into the orphan house and swindle The Red Raven Inn away from Miss Sally.
[Education Storage: S.F62MI]

Collison, Linda
Star-Crossed. 2006.
Having been discovered as a stowaway as she tries to reach Barbados in 1760 to claim her father’s estate, teenaged English orphan Patricia Kelley struggles to survive by learning to be a ship’s doctor and by disguising herself as a man when necessary.
[Education S-Collection: S.C697s]

Turner, Megan Whalen
The Thief. 1996.
Gen flaunts his ingenuity as a thief and relishes the adventure which takes him to a remote temple of the gods where he will attempt to steal a precious stone.
[Education S Collection: S.T855T]

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. 1990.
As the lone “young lady” on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.
[Education S Collection: S.AV51T]

McCaughrean, Geraldine
The White Darkness. 2007.
Taken to Antarctica by the man she thinks of as her uncle for what she believes to be a vacation, Symone–a troubled fourteen year old–discovers that he is dangerously obsessed with seeking Symme’s Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the center of a hollow Earth.
[Education S-Collection: S.M459w]
Cabin Fever Cures on the Web
More fun ideas are waiting on the web! Check out the following sites for games, crafts, snow sports and more:

Coping With Cabin Fever
Lists suggestions for fun activities broken down by age group.

Beating the Bug: Defeat Cabin Fever With Creative Play
This article by Brenda Nixon offers a variety of imaginative ways to combat boredom.

Winter-Break Fun
Offers printable games and coloring pages, craft ideas, movie suggestions and many other ideas and activities.