Fantasy & Science Fiction Books (High School)

Whether set in the bleak and futuristic hierarchy of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World or the eerily bucolic boarding school of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, the novels in this collection build worlds that both resemble and challenge our own. These texts are appropriate for high school readers.

Publication year 1949Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: SiblingsTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, British Literature

George Orwell’s dystopian novel1984 (also written as Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel) was originally published in 1949. Orwell was known for social and political criticism in his writing. He supported democratic socialism and opposed totalitarianism—political stances that come through in the themes of his most well-known works.Edition note: This novel is available in the public domain in many countries, and this summary is based on the electronically published version made available by Planet eBook. The edition... Read 1984 Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance, Fantasy, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Class, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: CommunityTags Satire, History: European, Politics / Government, Philosophy, Animals, Post-War Era, Allegory / Fable / Parable, British Literature

Published in 1945, Animal Farm by George Orwell (1903-1950) achieved immediate success and remains one of Orwell’s most popular works. A political satire in the guise of a moving and whimsical animal fable, the novella is about a group of farm animals who overthrow their owner, Mr. Jones, and establish animal rule. Although the animals start with high hopes for Animal Farm as a harmonious and just utopia where “all animals are equal” (19), it... Read Animal Farm Summary

Publication year 1968Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Fantasy, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

First published in 1968, Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea follows Ged, a young man in training to be a wizard, as he embarks on a necessary journey of self-discovery and self-mastery. It is the first in a series of six novels aimed at young-adult readers. The novel has won numerous awards and is regarded as a classic of young adult fantasy literature. Set over the course of several years, the novel follows... Read A Wizard of Earthsea Summary

Publication year 1932Genre Novel, FictionTags Classic Fiction, British Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Brave New World, a dystopian novel published in 1932, is perhaps Aldous Huxley’s most famous and enduring work, consistently ranked among the top-100 English-language novels by entities such as the Modern Library, BBC, and The Observer. The novel opens with a tour of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, in which the Director explains the foundational ideas of society’s “stability,” which stems from the production-line uniformity of its citizens. People in the World State... Read Brave New World Summary

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

Christopher Paolini’s Brisingr, published in 2008, is a work of YA Fantasy. It is the third volume in a series of four books, including Eragon, Eldest, and Inheritance, which together form the Inheritance Cycle. While Eragon is the protagonist of this series, the chapters are presented from several different points of view, all in third person. In this text, narrators include Eragon, Saphira, Roran, and Nasuada.  Plot Summary Brisingr opens with Eragon, Saphira, and Roran hiding... Read Brisingr Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Fantasy, Romance, Parody, LGBTQ, Class, Education, Love / Sexuality

Published in 2015, Rainbow Rowell’s young-adult fantasy novel Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a spinoff of her young-adult novel Fangirl (2013) and the first book of the Simon Snow trilogy.Carry On, which was awarded a place on the Rainbow Project Book List in 2016, examines themes of love, power, and free will. Simon Snow is the Chosen One of a magical world. During his eighth and final year at the... Read Carry On Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: GenderTags LGBTQ, Fantasy, Grief / Death, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Diversity, Religion / Spirituality, Gender / Feminism, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

The fairytale “Cinderella” provides the foundation for Marissa Meyer's 2012 novel Cinder, which puts a futuristic and dystopian twist on the classic tale of love and the complexities of social class. Cinder lives her life as a cyborg: she is part human and part machinery. Although part of a social class that takes a place low on the social hierarchy, Cinder uses her personal machine structure to benefit her work as a mechanic. Equipped with... Read Cinder Summary

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: SiblingsTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Romance, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (Walker Books, 2009) is the third installment of the young adult urban fantasy Mortal Instruments series and chronicles an epic Shadowhunter battle against an old foe’s return. City of Glass was a finalist for the Teen Choice Book of the Year and for the 2009 Goodreads Choice Awards. Clare was born in Iran to American parents. She spent several years traveling before she settled in the United States, where... Read City of Glass Summary

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: FamilyTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Divergent is the first installment in a science-fiction trilogy, and is narrated by a 16 year old girl called Beatrice Prior. The setting is a futuristic city which, though not specified in the novel, closely resembles Chicago.  The city has been split into five factions: Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Amity, and Candor. The idea behind this split is that human conflict has not been caused by political ideology, race, religion, or nationalism but by differences between... Read Divergent Summary

Publication year 1969Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Originally serialized in Galaxy magazine, Dune Messiah (1969) is the sequel to Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction novel Dune (1965) and the second novel in Herbert’s six-book Dune Chronicles series. Taking place in the distant future, the novel continues the saga of Paul Atreides, a powerful messianic figure who overcame a plot against his family to become Emperor of the Known Universe. As Paul endeavors to ensure the survival of humanity across the galaxy, the... Read Dune Messiah Summary

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Place, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Fantasy, Leadership/Organization/Management, Politics / Government, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1953Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Classic Fiction, American Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

The publication of American novelist Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in 1953 helped to transition the science fiction genre from the niche arena of pulp magazines and comic books to mainstream fiction. The futuristic novel takes place in a culture that has banned books. Time and place (probably Midwestern America) are unidentified, but the country is on the brink of war with an unnamed foe. “The Hearth and the Salamander,” “The Sieve and the Sand,” and... Read Fahrenheit 451 Summary

Publication year 1966Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: DisabilityTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, Psychological Fiction

Daniel Keyes’s science fiction novel Flowers for Algernon (1966) is the story of a man’s journey from having an intellectual disability to gaining extraordinary intelligence—and his regression when an experimental procedure to “correct” his disability goes wrong. Keyes first published a short story titled “Flowers for Algernon” in 1959, which won the Hugo Award for best science fiction short story, before publishing it as a full-length novel, which won the Nebula award for science fiction... Read Flowers For Algernon Summary

Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Gathering Blue is the second book in Lois Lowry’s The Giver Quartet, which began with the award-winning The Giver (1993) and also includes Gathering Blue (2000), Messenger (2004), and Son (2012). Gathering Blue is set sometime in the future, following the end of civilization as we know it. The novel traces a few months in the life of Kira, a gifted “threader” with a twisted leg. In this dystopian society, her bad leg should have resulted in Kira being left to die from exposure; however... Read Gathering Blue Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: War, Society: ClassTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: WarTags Romance, Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ, Fairy Tale / Folklore

Publication year 1864Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: PlaceTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, French Literature

Journey to the Center of the Earth was written by the French writer Jules Gabriel Verne (1828–1905), who is best known for Extraordinary Voyages, a series of science fiction adventure stories that includes Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) as well as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872). Verne was born in the French port city of Nantes and from a young age was... Read Journey To The Center Of The Earth Summary

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Fantasy, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Equality, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Class, Society: Economics, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Satire, Relationships, Agriculture, Arts / Culture, Business / Economics, Class, Finance / Money / Wealth, Food, Health / Medicine, History: U.S., Politics / Government, Poverty, Religion / Spirituality, Social Justice

Landscape with Invisible Hand is a satirical dystopian science fiction novel by M. T. Anderson, written for a young adult audience. A diverse author, Anderson writes both fiction and nonfiction for people of all ages. In 2023, Landscape with Invisible Hand was adapted for film, reflecting the novel’s popularity and relevance. The book depicts a future world in which an alien species, the vuvv, have sold their technology to humans, causing the collapse of the... Read Landscape with Invisible Hand Summary

Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Life as We Knew It is the harrowing tale of a family trying to survive in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world. A young adult novel, the story is told from the point-of-view of sixteen-year-old Miranda and takes the form of her journal entries. Miranda finds her world thrown into complete chaos when an asteroid hits the moon and shifts it out of orbit, moving it closer to Earth. Though the event is expected, scientific calculations about... Read Life As We Knew It Summary

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Literature, Life/Time: The Future, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Self DiscoveryTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Romance, Arts / Culture

Matched is a science fiction novel for young adults by best-selling author Ally Condie. Published in 2010, it is the first novel in the Matched trilogy. It was followed by Crossed in 2011 and Reached in 2012. Matched was a critical and commercial success—as were the other two books in the trilogy. It was a New York Times bestseller and named one of the best children’s books of the year by Publisher’s Weekly. The Young... Read Matched Summary

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Jacob Portman believes he is ordinary and is fascinated with his extraordinary grandfather, Abraham Portman, during his childhood years. Grandpa Portman introduces Jacob to interesting stories about monsters and unusual pictures of peculiar children. As a child, Abraham escaped Nazi Germany to Wales, where he lived in a house with other children under the guidance of Headmistress Peregrine.The older Jacob becomes, however, the more disbelief he has toward his grandfather’s stories. Similarly, Jacob’s family thinks... Read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Summary

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Emmy Laybourne’s 2012 novel, Monument 14, charts the experiences of a group of fourteen students in the wake of a mega-tsunami. The story takes place in the year 2024 in the city of Monument, Colorado. As both grade-school and high-school students ride the bus to school one morning, they encounter a hailstorm, which causes their school bus to crash. Mrs. Wooly, the middle-school bus driver, drives her bus into the Greenway, a superstore, and aids... Read Monument 14 Summary

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: FateTags British Literature, Japanese Literature, Asian Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Never Let Me Go is a 2005 novel by Kazuo Ishiguro set in an alternative dystopian version of Great Britain in the 1990s in which cloning technology allows for the mass proliferation of organ donation. Medical problems like cancer are cured because organs are harvested from clones through a state-sanctioned program. The cloned “donors” have their organs taken one at a time until they die. The novel is narrated by Kathy, a clone who works... Read Never Let Me Go Summary

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline’s love-letter to all things 1980s pop culture, was published in 2011. A mix of adventure, dystopian fiction, coming-of-age story, and heroic epic, the novel is packed with references to 80s media and heroic literature, including allusions to the Arthurian legend of the quest for the Holy Grail. In 2018, Ready Player One was adapted into a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.  Plot Summary James Halliday, creator of an immense... Read Ready Player One Summary

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure, Middle Eastern Literature

Shadow and Bone (2012) by Leigh Bardugo is a young adult fantasy adventure and romance novel. It is Bardugo’s debut novel and the first book in her Shadow and Bone trilogy, also called the Grisha trilogy. Inspired by 19th-century Tsarist Russia, Bardugo creates a darkly magical world characterized by strange armies, extreme wealth and poverty, and personifications of light and shadow. The novel was a New York Times best seller, a Los Angeles Times best... Read Shadow and Bone Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy

Shadowshaper is an urban fantasy young adult novel written by Daniel José Older and originally published in 2015. The first book in the Shadowshaper Cypher series, Shadowshaper follows an Afro-Boricua teenager named Sierra who discovers she has a magical and spiritual family heritage. The book was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2015 and was shortlisted for the 2015 Kirkus Prize. This study guide refers the 2015 paperback Scholastic Inc. edition.   Plot SummaryAt... Read Shadowshaper Summary

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Shatter Me is a young adult dystopian novel by Tahereh Mafi. The book was first published in 2011 and soon afterward 20th Century Fox bought the rights for a film adaptation. Exploring the themes of physical and emotional isolation, resistance to tyranny, and hope and resilience, the novel has become a best-seller in young adult fiction. It is followed by two other books, Unravel Me and Ignite Me, and the series also includes two e-novellas... Read Shatter Me Summary

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Society: War, Self Discovery, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Leadership/Organization/Management, Love / Sexuality, Military / War, Politics / Government, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: RevengeTags Fantasy

Published in 2015, Leigh Bardugo’s young adult fantasy novel Six of Crows, the first in a two-part series, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Kirkus Reviews. A fantasy heist story, the novel shifts between the alternating points of view of five teenagers who team up to pull off the ultimate prison break.Six of Crows begins in Ketterdam, an invented version of 17th-century Amsterdam, and the novel’s main characters hail from the seedy criminal... Read Six of Crows Summary

Publication year 1969Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: FateTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Satire, Military / War, Surrealism, American Literature

Slaughterhouse-Five is a 1969 science fiction novel written by the American author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The novel deals with anti-war themes and time travel while centering its narrative around the bombing of Dresden, Germany during World War II. Slaughterhouse-Five is considered one of the most important anti-war and science fiction novels of the 20th century and has been adapted into films, theatre productions, and radio plays. Plot SummaryThe narrative of Slaughterhouse-Five is told in a... Read Slaughterhouse-Five Summary

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Son is a young adult fiction novel written by award-winning author Lois Lowry. It is the conclusion to The Giver Quartet, which includes The Giver (1993), Gathering Blue (2000), Messenger (2004), and Son (2012). Son follows the journey of Claire, a young girl on a quest to regain her son who has been taken from her. The novel is divided into three sections: Book 1: "Before," Book 2: "Between," and Book 3: "Beyond." All three books have entirely separate settings and... Read Son Summary

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Class, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure

Lissa Price’s Starters is a young adult science fiction novel set in the near future after the Spore Wars, during which biological weapons were used against the United States and wiped out much of the unvaccinated middle-aged population. As a result, many teens were left without families, and the elderly feared for their place in society. Starters without grandparents were barred from essentially every type of work. This led to teens being rounded up to... Read Starters Summary

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Society: Community, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy

The 5th Wave is the first young adult science fiction novel in Rick Yancey’s trilogy of the same name. The book was published in 2013 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. It follows the story of Cassie Sullivan, a young woman left on her own after aliens attack the Earth in three waves. The first wave is an electromagnetic pulse that shuts down all electricity; the second wave causes natural disasters on the coasts of each continent... Read The 5th Wave Summary

Publication year 1976Genre Novel, FictionTags Fantasy

The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights is the final, unfinished work of Pulitzer-Prize winning author John Steinbeck. Steinbeck is most famous for The Grapes of Wrath (1939), East of Eden (1952), and Of Mice and Men (1937). The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights is Steinbeck’s only fantasy novel. He began writing it in 1958 but abandoned the project in late 1959 after completing seven chapters. Steinbeck died nine years... Read The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights Summary

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Action / Adventure, Fairy Tale / Folklore

Irish author Michael Scott’s The Alchemyst, published in 2007, is the first installment in his six-part series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. This guide refers to the 2007 Kindle edition. The following books are The Magician (2008), The Sorceress (2009), The Necromancer (2010), The Warlock (2011), and The Enchantress (2012). The Alchemyst was included in Time Magazine’s 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time in 2015 and earned multiple awards internationally, including... Read The Alchemyst Summary

Publication year 1954Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Gender / Feminism, Technology, Cold War, American Literature

“The Cold Equations” is a science fiction short story by American author Tom Godwin, which originally appeared in a 1954 edition of Astounding magazine. The story stood out long after its publication and was considered one of the best science fiction short stories published before 1965. It was also reprinted in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929-1964.The pilot of an Emergency Dispatch Ship (EDS) launched from a larger ship, the Stardust, is... Read The Cold Equations Summary

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Published in 2002, Nancy Farmer’s The House of the Scorpion is a young adult science fiction novel that earned a US National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. It is set in the futuristic country of Opium, which is situated along the border of the United States and what was once Mexico. The protagonist, a clone of Opium’s dictator and drug lord, struggles with his identity. His experience articulates a complex argument about the potential... Read The House of the Scorpion Summary

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

The Hunger Games is a best-selling young adult novel, the first in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy. It details the life of teenage heroine Katniss Everdeen as she fights to the death for the entertainment of her fascist government. Since its publication in 2008, the trilogy has sold more than 65 million copies in the United States alone and, in 2019, was listed as one of 100 most influential novels by BBC News. The Hunger... Read The Hunger Games Summary

Publication year 1951Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

First published in 1951, The Illustrated Man is a collection of 18 short stories of speculative fiction by one of the preeminent American writers of the 20th and 21st centuries: Ray Bradbury. It includes some of his most famous short stories, including “The Veldt” and “Marionettes, Inc.” While the volume received mixed reviews on release, it was nominated for the International Fantasy Award in 1952 and is now widely considered to be a highlight of... Read The Illustrated Man Summary

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionTags Fantasy

Rick Riordan’s 2010 YA novel, The Lost Hero, tells the story of three demigods: Jason Grace, son of Jupiter/Zeus; Piper McClean, daughter of Aphrodite; and Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus. The book alternates between narrating these three characters’ thoughts and experiences in free indirect discourse. Each has a distinctive style: Jason is vaguely confused, but aware of others’ high expectations; Piper is lovelorn over Jason, and self-pitying because her father’s fame has weakened their bond;... Read The Lost Hero Summary

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

The Maze Runner is a young adult novel set in a post-apocalyptic world. The story begins in a dark metal elevator, where a teenage boy awakens with no real memories other than the fact that his name is Thomas. When the elevator stops and the doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by teenage boys. Their leader, a boy named Alby, welcomes Thomas to the Glade. Thomas quickly sees that the Glade is surrounded by high... Read The Maze Runner Summary

Publication year 1973Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: MusicTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

The narrator describes the setting of the story: a seaside city called Omelas, where the "Festival of Summer" has just begun. Music is playing, parades and processions are underway, and all the residents of the town seem happy and excited as they converge on the Green Fields. Here, boys and girls wait with their ornamented but unsaddled horses for a race to begin.The beauty of the weather and scenery match the mood of the city:... Read The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Summary