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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Now What???

The question I currently get asked the most is, "What do I read now?"  Usually said by a student, often in a "woe-is-me" voice.  However, grown-up friends, neighbors, and teachers have also been known to ask this question, usually via Facebook, typically without the whine.

The reason for this desperation? "The Hunger Games" trilogy, concluding with the recently released "Mockingjay," has ended. After waiting so long for book three, for most people it has now come and gone...and left everyone wanting more books to read!  As a librarian, I am very excited when a series can spark interest in other books, not just the series itself.  "Yeah!" to Suzanne Collins for giving us such a story.

So, whether you LOVED "Mockingjay," are sad to see it end, or were greatly disappointed by it, never fear...there are more books for you,  I promise!  Dystopian fiction for teens is a HUGE genre (especially now), that will not let you down. 

Here are my suggestions (in no particular order) of "What to Read Next:"

(1) Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.
  Okay, though I promised no order to this list, there is a reason that I mentioned it first.  I LOVE IT!  And so do many others, based on all the starred reviews it has received.  Nailer is on a scavenger crew tearing up old hulks of ships, living day to day in a not-so-distant future U.S., until a rich girl and her gleaming ship run ashore in a storm on the beach and his life gets more dangerous.  See my review here.

(2) Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.  Another new book, first in a series, that you will definitely enjoy.  Trapped in the massive prison world of Incarceron, Finn searches for his true identity; outside, Claudia searches for the truth about Incarceron and its warden, her father.  My review is posted here.  Book 2, "Sapphique," releases in December 2010.

(3) Maze Runner by James Dashner.  Again, another first in a series.  (The second book, "Scorch Trials" will actually be released 10/12/10).  This is "The Hunger Games" meets "Lost."  Click here for my earlier review.

(4) Numbers by Rachel Ward.  What if you could look into people's eyes and see the date they were going to die?  Jem can, and now she is on the run because of it.  Here is my earlier post on this book.  An excellent cover, by the way!

(5) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.  World War I as never seen before.  This is certainly not the history that you studied!   In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, is on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery.  Alek forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn, who disguises herself as a boy to join the British Air Service, learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts. A sequel is on the way--"Behemoth," 10/5/10.

(6) Life as We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer.  What if it really is the end of life on Earth as we know it?  How will you survive?  This is one of the top choices each year for the 8th grade Survival Unit.  Two books follow in the series.

(7) Feed by M.T. Anderson. In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

(8) Unwind by Neal Schusterman. Set in a future U.S. in which abortions are outlawed but parents have the option of signing over their 13- to 17-year-olds to be used as organ donors, three teens embark upon a cross-country journey in order to escape.

(9) The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson. In the not-too-distant future, when biotechnological advances have made synthetic bodies and brains possible but illegal, a seventeen-year-old girl, recovering from a serious accident and suffering from memory lapses, learns a startling secret about her existence.  Though this is a few years old, I just finished listening to the audio.  Definitely recommend this book.

(10) The Giver by Lois Lowry.  The standard by which all Dystopian novels should be judged, this classic won the Newbery Medal in 1994.   Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.  Two other books, "Messenger" and "Gathering Blue," follow.

Other books that should not be missed:
The Diary of Pelly D. by L.J. Adlington
Exodus by Julie Bertagna
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
The White Mountains by John Christopher
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman
Gone by Michael Grant
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Enemy by Charlie Higson
Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Declaration by Gemma Malley
A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Epitaph Road by David Patneaude
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeves
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Bar Code Rebellion by Suzanne Weyn

Suggestions?  Omissions? Other recommendatons?  What do you think?  This might become my own version of a "Tuesday Top 10," though clearly I couldn't stop at just 10!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Others I would add for YA....

1. The Edge Chronicles (dark, dark, dark...)
2. Howl's Moving Castle
3. Terrier (The Provost's Dog series)
4. The Lamplighter (Monster Blood Tattoo Series)
5. The Halloween Tree
6. Something Wicked This Way Comes
7. The Keys to the Kingdom series
8. Ella Enchanted
9. Tithe
10. Flora Segunda
11. Poison Study
12. Coraline
13. The Graveyard Book

... I'm sure I'm missing many... but there's a start XD


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