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For LIS 7250, I was to create an annotated bibliography that would be appropriate for young patrons. Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of options for this project, I asked the director at my local rural public library if there was a particular bibliography that she’d find useful for tweens and teens.

In interviewing the head of teen services at a larger suburban public library (for a different project), she stated: “dystopian fiction is all the rage right now!” The Hunger Games trilogy falls into the genre of dystopian fiction – a popular subgenre is post-apocalyptic fiction.

First, I conducted research for “Hunger Games Read-Alikes” and compiled a very long list of materials which was weeded down by reading reviews published primarily by School Library Journal, Children’s Literature, and PW. I then compared my list to the library’s catalog and chose several items from the holdings. The library has agreed to purchase any materials in which they do not own as long as they were published within the past two years – this weeded down the list even further…


For readers that have a taste for dystopian societies and stories about post-apocalyptic survival…Downloadable Version (in PDF)

Update: Check out Read-Alikes: The Hunger Games (Part 2)

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
The post-apocalyptic story of 16-year old Lucy trying to survive in what’s left of America after 99% of the population is wiped out. (Grade 9 & Up)

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
Due to a nuclear-holocaust Eli’s family — sans his twin brother and grandmother — take shelter in an elaborate underground compound that his billionaire father built. After several years underground, the family begins questioning the father and wondering if the whole scenario is a hoax. (Grade 8 & Up)

Divergent by Veronica Roth
A futuristic coming of age tale that follows sixteen-year old Tris in post-apocalyptic Chicago. “One choice decides your friends; One choice defines your beliefs; One choice determines your loyalties – forever; One choice can transform you.” (Grade 9 & Up)

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
After China unleashes a deadly plague on the United States, the country is left in ruins. Fifteen year old Steve, who was born after the war, struggles to survive. (Grade 6 & Up)

Empty by Suzanne Weyn
Set in the near future, Empty gives the reader, “A dystopic look at what happens to one American town when all the fossil fuels run out… Civilization has just run out.” (Grade 7 & Up)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Set in the future when books are both banned and burned, television rules the country. (Grade 11 & Up)

Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton
The graphic novel version of Bradbury’s stunning novella — set in the future when books are both banned and burned, television rules the country. (Grade 11 & Up)

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
“Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.” (Grade 9 & Up)

The Knife of Letting Go by Patrick Ness
“Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful…” (Grade 9 & Up)

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
” Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system… But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time…” (Grade 10 & Up)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Trilogy: Book 1)
Awakening in an elevator that takes him to a mysterious Glade, complete with a deadly maze, Thomas and the other teen inhabitants fight for their survival and release. (Grade 6 & Up)

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Trilogy: Book 2)
“The Scorch Trials picks up where The Maze Runner left off…but now they face an even more treacherous challenge…And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.” (Grade 7 & Up)

The Death Cure by James Dashner (Trilogy: Book 3)
“Thomas knows that Wicked can’t be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they’ve collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.” (Grade 7 & Up)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A father and son try to survive in post-apocalyptic America. Pulitzer Prize. Made into a film in 2009! (Grade 11 & Up)

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Steampunk meets dystopian fiction. Set in post-apocalyptic London, fourteen-year old orphan, Fever Crumb, walks into danger when she begins to discover her past. (Grade 5 & Up)

The Giver by Lois Lowry (Trilogy: Book 1)
Newbery Medal winner. “The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.” (Grade 6 & Up)

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry (Trilogy: Book 2)
“Six years after The Giver, Lois Lowry ushered readers back into that mysterious but plausible futuristic world to tell the story of Kira, orphaned, physically flawed, and left with uncertain prospects. Like The Giver, Gathering Blue challenges readers to imagine what our world could become and how people could evolve.” (Grade 5 & Up)

Messenger by Lois Lowry (Trilogy: Book 3)
“Trouble is brewing in Village. Once a utopian community that welcomed strangers, Village will soon be cut off to all outsiders. As one of the few able to traverse the forbidding Forest, Matty must deliver the message of Village’s closing and try to convince Seer’s daughter, Kira, to return with him before it’s too late.” (Grades 6 & Up)