Arts & Culture » Books

Defining moments in young adult dystopia: a timeline

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Lord of the Flies (1954)
By William Golding
A group of British schoolboys must learn to govern themselves after being marooned on a desert island during the middle of a nuclear war.
 

The Chrysalids (1955)
By John Wyndham
Ten-year-old David must hide his "mutant" telepathic ability from post-apocalyptic society leaders who have a theological prejudice against "Deviations" like him.

A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
By Madeleine L'Engle
Siblings Meg and Charles Wallace Murry travel to Camazotz to save their scientist father (and subsequently, the world) from the Black Thing.

Logan's Run (1967)
By William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson
In a society where everyone is dictated to die at the precise age of 21, Logan's job is to chase down anyone who runs from this fate.

House of Stairs (1974)
By William Sleator
Five 16-year-old orphans awake in a curious prison with no walls, floor or ceiling – just endless flights of stairs, which they must climb while enduring each other's personalities.

Ender's Game (1985)
By Orson Scott Card
Ender Wiggin is drafted on a special mission to help his society fight off the attacks of the buggers, an alien race that is at war with the planet Earth.
 

The Giver (1993)
By Lois Lowry
In a society where jobs are assigned at a certain age, Jonas is given a unique assignment that proves very difficult to bear.

Uglies (2005)
By Scott Westerfeld
At the age of 16, everyone in Tally Youngblood's society undergoes plastic surgery to become "Pretty," but at 15, Tally must deal with the knowledge that this also extends to mental modification.
 

The Hunger Games (2008)
By Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen volunteers to represent her district in the Hunger Games, a teen battle to the death intended to prevent insurgency.

Matched (2010)
By Ally Condie
At 17, Cassia Reyes is eligible to be matched with her life partner, but a hiccup in the system causes her to be matched with not one but two men, leading her to question her society for the first time.

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