Dystopian Fiction: Worlds Gone Wrong

The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins

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In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.  

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The Knife of Never Letting Go

By Patrick Ness

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Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

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The Maze Runner

By James Dashner

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Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

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Uglies

By Scott Westerfield

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In Tally's world, a 16th birthday brings an operation, transforming one from a repellent Ugly to an attractive Pretty. Turning Pretty is all Tally has ever wanted. Her friend Shay would rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally must make a terrible choice.
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Unwind

By Neal Shusterman

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In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until theireighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away. In "Unwind," "Boston Globe/Horn Book" Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.
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