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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dystopian Novels


The sixth community-wide reading event, “One Book, One Community: Stillwater Reads Fahrenheit 451,” will kick-off Feb. 3, 2014.  This novel, written by Ray Bradbury in 1953, is considered a classic dystopian novel describing a post-literate society in which books and homes are burned by firemen.  Dystopian fiction allows the reader to immerse oneself into a society characterized by human misery, squalor, oppression, disease and/or overcrowding and generally headed to irreversible oblivion (unless our hero/heroine saves the day.)  These novels can stimulate great discussions as will be taking place in Feb and March 2014 during the “One Book, One Community: Stillwater Reads Fahrenheit 451” event.   

 The library has many other enticing dystopian novels of which I have listed a few of my favorites.  Top on my list is the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  “Hunger Games,” “Catching Fire,” and “Mockingjay” 

are set in a future world in which North America is divided into 12 districts with two members of each district being forced to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games. These novels are now being made into major motion pictures with the recent release of the second novel.  (“Hunger Games” will be shown at the library during our “One Book” event.)

If you like “The Hunger Games” trilogy, you will also enjoy the “Divergent” series by Veronica Roth.  In this dystopian world, Chicago is divided into five factions to which all sixteen year olds must devote the rest of their lives.

Other favorite dystopian novels of mine include“The Giver”by Lois Lowry

“1984” and “Animal Farm” by George Orwell; “Unwind” by Neil Shusterman and “City of Ember” by Jeanne DuPrau.

The next time you are in the library, find a dystopian novel, settle into the comfort of your home, and read about a world you are thankful is not the one you must live in.

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