Dystopias

The Water Wars

Author: 
Cameron Stracher

Reading Level: Grade 6-8

Vera is too young to remember a time she wasn't thirsty. Since the polar ice caps melted and the rivers dried up, there is very little fresh water left. Almost all the northern hemisphere's fresh water is controlled by the Empire of Canada and the Republic of Minnesota. Vera lives in the Republic of Illinowa where she is lucky to get a drink a day.

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Divergent

Author: 
Veronica Roth

Reading Level: Grade 8+

Veronica Roth has created a dystopian setting as gritty as the world of the Hunger Games.

In Chicago, the city on the swamp, people belong to one of five factions, each dedicated to a virtue: Erudite (intelligence), Dauntless (brave), Candor (honesty), Amity (peacefulness) and Abnegation (the selfless). At age 16 all must declare their faction. While most chose the faction they were raised in, a few forsake their families and cross to another faction.

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The Unidentified

Author: 
Rae Mariz

Reading Level: Grade 7-9

15-year-old Kid is a student in the Game, a franchised high school that occupies an old mall. The students at the school spend their days playing "games" that are closely monitored by corporate sponsors. Almost every kid in the Game hopes to stand out enough to get "Branded."

Kit is horrified when someone is pushed over the fifth floor railing into "the Pit" where most of the kids hang out. The person turns out to be a dummy with the sign "Unidentified. Choose your suicide" taped to its sweater.

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The Gardener

Author: 
S.A. Bodeen

Reading Level: Grades 7-10

High school sophomore Mason has a fairly normal life, if you discount the ugly scar marring half of his hulky face; if you discount the disappearance of his father and his mother's drinking habit and tendency to require Mason to be her parent and not vice versa. 

When Mason discovers that the Haven of Peace, the rehabilitation center his mom works at is not just for the elderly, but for brain damaged teens whose parents have given up on them in favor of experimentation on them, his life is turned upside down. 

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A Small Free Kiss in the Dark

Author: 
Glenda Millard

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When you’re a homeless eleven year-old named Skip, there isn’t anywhere for you to go, because all the shelters are either for women with children, or for men, which you aren’t.  When you’re homeless, a runaway, you never sleep in the same place twice, otherwise someone might be able to figure out where you are and take you back to where you ran away from.

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Dust City

Author: 
Robert Paul Weston

Reading Level: Grades 7+

In this futuristic post-fairies fairy tale world, companies mine fairy dust residue in the earth from long-ago magic to sell as minor first aid remedies. Henry seems to be the only citizen unwilling to use this somewhat makeshift fairy dust, as his mother was killed in an accident involving a truckload of the stuff.

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