Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week 11 - Dystopian Fiction for Teens

Miller, Laura. 2010. "Fresh Hell: What’s Behind the Boom in Dystopian Fiction for Young Readers?” The New Yorker June 14. Available online at:

Dystopia can be defined as "an imaginary place where everything is as bad as it can be" (

In Laura Miller's article "Fresh Hell: What’s Behind the Boom in Dystopian Fiction for Young Readers?” for young readers,"dystopia isn't a future to be averted; it's a version of what's already happening in the world they inhabit" (Miller: 2010). This type of genre is intriguing to teens, which creates dystopian fiction to become a hit for teen literature. For example: Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games is a  huge hit for teen readers. As dystopian literature touches upon the imaginary, the impossible, and the reality of teens lives, teens particularly like it. Miller points out in her article that many dystopian YA books come in series, which is often a hook for teen enjoyment. Some series include Scott Westerfield's the Uglies series and Jame's Dashner's The Maze Runner series. Many dystopian teen fiction series tend to end in cliff-hangers to provoke the readers to want and ache for more. Kay Sambell implies that "dystopian stories for adults and children have essentially the same purpose - to warn us about the dangers of some crude trend (Miller: 2010). These types of books scold readers, but scolding makes sense to the readers who want a shot at revenge, to gain power, or to move forward. Personally I am not very interested in this kind of literature, but if it gets teens reading, and wanting to read, it works for me. Therefor, public libraries and school libraries should purchase dystopian teen fiction for its collections as they will be popular and heavily circulated.

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