I still have one review (THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin) and my Dystopian February wrap-up, but those will come tomorrow - even though it'll be March already.
I have Megan once again to talk about some lesser known gems she's read recently in the genre. And if you'd like to read her previous post on the subject, here it is.
Today I am going to highlight three books that are each the first in a middle grade dystopian series. Middle grade is a great opportunity to introduce children to this subgenre. Even though at moments these books can be dark, they have substance and more themes running through them than Haddix’s Shadow Children series.
The Fire-Us trilogy starts with our introduction to several kids who have banded together in a family unit in the book entitled THE KINDLING. As far as they know a virus has killed off all adults and also made the children forget many aspects of their past. They forget their names and events from their childhood. These children find each other and bond. They survive through their mock family unit and mimicking a normal life. The older children have school and meals for the younger kids. The oldest male goes out and forages through the city for items they need. One day a strange visitor comes. The family cannot tell if he is good or bad, they don’t know what to make of him, but they are curious. Since meeting each other he is the only evidence that anyone else has ever survived.
The Virtual War series is by local Utah author Gloria Skurzynski. The first book in the series is called THE VIRTUAL WAR and we see the world through the eyes of Corgan. He was chosen from a very young age to be one of the ones who will fight a fake or virtual war with the opponents of other countries. In this future the governments have accepted the cruelties of war and have agreed to have them fought virtually through computer simulation. This simulation is then televised as a reminder of how bloody and violent the world used to be. As Corgan meets his two other team members, he begins to find out that his world is very different from what it had always seemed.
The Traces series by Malcolm Rose is probably the lightest of the three even though it directly deals with death. The series follows a teen trained in a futuristic crime scene investigation. The dystopian elements of this first book, FRAMED, are based on governmentally assigned mating matches and other uses of technology to determine one’s future. These dystopian elements are not the main focus of the book. This series is like a futuristic CSI for kids and is based on a murder mystery style. Even though the dystopian elements aren’t the main theme, they run consistently through the book making it an important element to the telling of the story.