Phew! Finally up to date with all of my posts! This week’s post is books that would be on your syllabus if you taught…..(fill in the blank) 101. My choice for the fill in the blank was YA Dystopia 101, I did originally think about doing YA fantasy, but I figured that would be a really popular choice this week, so I decided on Dystopia instead (which will probably also be a popular choice, but ah well, those two genres are my favourites, so it was always going to be one or the other). Let’s get started shall we?
- The Unwind Dystology-Neal Shusterman-You all knew it was coming, I couldn’t do this list without including my favourite YA dystopia novels. I just love the concept of the story, I think it’s really interesting, I love the characters and their development over the course of the story and I think the books themselves are just generally very enjoyable and bring up a lot of moral and ethical questions, so they would definitely be on my syllabus.
- The Hunger Games Trilogy-Suzanne Collins-I could not teach YA Dystopia 101 without including these novels, it’s got a great female protagonist and generally a great cast of characters with quite a few examples of diversity in there, and I just think these are great stories with some really strong themes, so they would be good to teach.
- Uglies-Scott Westerfeld-This is actually a series of four books, but if I was to teach YA Dystopia 101, I would only teach the first book, as I don’t believe the rest of the series is anywhere near as strong. I love the main theme of the book about the society’s obsession with being pretty and how being pretty is actually not all it seems, so despite some of the annoying world linguistics (the use of words like bogus and bubbly), I would have this book on my syllabus.
- Noughts and Crosses Series-Malorie Blackman-This series of books has some very important lessons to teach about racism and I like that this is a different sort of dystopia than the ones I’ve listed before, it’s less action and more of a character study, but they’re really important as they show reverse racism (white people being oppressed rather than black people) and this may help in aiding understanding about racism. Plus Callum and Sephy’s Romeo and Juliet style love story is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.
- Pure Trilogy-Julianna Baggott-This series has an interesting world, interesting characters and whilst the concept of a protected people (those in the Dome) and an outcast people (the wretches) is not new, the way the concept is executed is certainly unique and I don’t think I’ve ever really read a book quite like these ones before, so even just for how different it is from other dystopias, I would want to teach this one.
- Divergent Trilogy-Veronica Roth-This is not my favourite dystopian series (in fact, I still haven’t read Allegiant yet! I know, I’m awful but I just haven’t been motivated to pick up an over 500 page book when I already know how it ends!) but there are some decent themes to be picked out here and whilst I didn’t love Divergent or Insurgent, they were both enjoyable enough.
- The Maze Runner Trilogy-James Dashner-Whilst I have to say, I enjoyed the first movie more than the first book and the series is not a standout for me, I still think I would have these on my syllabus as they are enjoyable enough books that would be fun to teach.
- Breathe duology-Sarah Crossan-I think in the world today, given the concern about global warming, these would be very relevant books to teach if I taught YA Dystopia 101 as they are all about what would happen if there were no more trees.
- Noble Conflict-Malorie Blackman-It’s not my favourite of her books, but this was an interesting dystopian, with interesting themes and some great characters and good world building, so whilst it doesn’t rank among my favourites on this list, I still think it would be a good one to teach.
- Split Second and Every Second Counts-Sophie McKenzie-What I like about these books is that they are set in the very near future and the Government is clearly based on our Government and it’s interesting to see the parallels between Charlie and Nat’s world and our own, plus both books are so action packed that you don’t have time to get bored and there are some good themes to be picked out of both books as well.
So there we go, that’s my list for this week and I actually managed to stick to ten again this week! I will be back next week with my top ten characters that I just didn’t click with. Tomorrow I will have my newest Wishlist Wednesday post for you though, so make sure to check that out.
I love Dystopia so I’d love to take your class. I’ve already read and loved so many of them – The Hunger Games, Divergent – and I think we could have great class discussions about them all. I have yet to read Noughts and Crosses Series but it sounds great, it’s on my tbr so I hope to get to it someday! And yes Uglies is not my fav series either, I liked book 1 but felt it never really went anywhere after that.
Thanks! Yeah I did try to pick books that I thought would make for good discussions if this was a real class (I wish it was, I’d love to teach it!). Noughts and Crosses is a great series, I hope you do get around to it! Yeah, I feel the exact same way, Uglies was great but Pretties and Specials just felt like more of the same thing, with no plot development.
Wow, you do have different books than I used. Love it! Some of yours I’ve never heard of, but they sound really interesting. My friend was going to read The Uglies, but she’s not really a reader. I’ve been trying to turn her, but no success ;(
Thanks! Yeah it’s a great bunch of books, definitely try some if you’re interested. Oh that sucks, I have friend who’s not really a reader either, but after years of saying she hated it, one of her friends got her to watch the Harry Potter movies and she’s finally reading the books (the rest of us are just sad that we weren’t the ones to manage to convince her!).
I would definitely take this class!!