8 More Fantasy & Dystopian Titles to Recommend to Your Secondary Students

January 11, 2019

Fantasy and dystopian novels transport us into worlds that are different and yet not so different from our own. Readers delight in the impossibilities just as much as the possibilities in these books. Here's 8 fantasy and dystopian titles, many of them part of a series, that I've recently read and would recommend to middle and high school students.
Fantasy and dystopian novels transport us into worlds that are different and yet not so different from our own. Readers delight in the impossibilities just as much as the possibilities in these books. I recently wrote about 8 fantasy and dystopian titles, many of them part of a series, that I've recently read and would recommend to middle and high school students, and here's 8 more. Click the title of each to read my full review and ideas for using it in the classroom.

1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Life in a utopian society is revealed through the experiences of Jonas, a soon to be twelve year old boy who is transitioning into the adult world. Part of that transition is receiving his "assignment," the role he will serve in the community for the rest of his adult life. The use of third person limited point of view focused on Jonas allows the reader to share the realization that the safety in "sameness" has terrible consequences. The novel is part of a quartet, which also includes Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

2. Emerson Page and Where The Light Enters by Christa Avampato
Emerson's journey to find out the truth about her mother's death leads her below the streets of New York City on a dangerous adventure into a magical world of books. The novel is filled with beautifully descriptive language that conjures up images of magical places and its references to other works of literature make a reading nerd like me feel right at home. 
The Mare Barrow of Red Queen, the first book in the series, is back. In Glass Sword, the second book in the series, Mare was hard to warm up to; she seemed cold, distant, and calculating. Much of the novel focuses on her complicated relationship with Maven, as both are unsure of how to deal with the feelings they deny that they still have for each other. Maven can't stand to have her be killed, but also can't let her go free. 
The Society has chosen a match for Cassia, but a technological malfunction makes her question if he really is her match. The novel has similar themes to The Giver by Lois Lowry and would be a great next read if you loved the Hunger Games series. Crossed and Reached, books two and three in the trilogy are just as good.

5. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
This is a Harry Potter book grown up: filled with magical dilemmas and a formidable evil enemy, but with adult characters. On a mission from her secret society of Librarians, Irene must track down an important book before Alberich, the evil, ex-Librarian whose name many fear to even speak, gets his hands on it. There are currently four other books in this series.

6. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This is book one in a series about life in a very realistic post-apocalyptic world. An asteroid has knocked the moon closer to Earth causing all sorts of natural disasters. Miranda, the main character, and her family must make difficult choices about survival with no end to the disaster in sight. Book two, The Dead And Gone, is set in New York City and features Alex a Hispanic teenage boy as the protagonist. In book three, This World We Live In, Miranda and Alex's lives intersect. The final book in the series is in my to be read list.

7. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
This "prequel" to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland reveals how the Queen of Hearts, Catherine, became such a fury-filled tyrant. Catherine's story begins with her dream of opening a bakery, her overbearing, but well-meaning mother and a secret love. 
This is an interesting look at what the future might be like told by five alternating narrators. Set in a tower large enough to house a city, the novel follows the intersecting lives of five teenagers, all acting on hidden motives to protect dangerous secrets. For one of them, it will end with a long fall to her death. There are currently two other books in this series.

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