The importance of dystopian literature

I have kids in 3 completely different stages of reading and I love nurturing plus growing each stage of literacy.

I introduced The Giver to my oldest when he was in 5th grade and that was the commencement of his love for dystopian and science fiction—which happens to also be his mama’s favorite genres of literature!

He has been begging me to let him read my favorite book in these genres—Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I keep explaining that even though he is a mature 12 year old, some of the storyline is not appropriate for his age. He will have to wait until high school—sorry buddy.

Dystopian literature is an important genre for young minds to read—it offers a vision of the future by exploring the dangerous effects of political and social structures on humanity. 

The themes usually are:

• Environmental ruin

• Technological control

• Government oppression

•Loss of individualism

• Survival 

• Nuclear Disaster 

A dystopia is an imagined community or society that is dehumanizing and frightening.

Dystopian novels challenge the reader’s perspective—to think differently about current social and political climates. It even has the potential to inspire action.

The value of Dystopian Science Fiction is not that it predicts what will happen, but what we fear will happen— investigating whether these fears are valid or destructive in of themselves. I personally love the psychological aspect to this genre. 

The Giver is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian. As the story progresses, the author slowly yet brilliantly reveals that it’s dystopian. 

Utopian is the opposite of dystopian—a community or society is perfect or ideal. Utopian societies are generally based on equality of all humankind.

Here is the book blurb for The Last Wild. My oldest and I read this one together and we would gasp and jump up and down from time to time—it’s beyond incredible so I don’t want to give too much away. I’ll leave you inclined to want to know more.

In a world where animals are slowly fading into extinction, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes feels as if he hardly exists either. He’s been locked away in a home for troubled children and is unable to speak a word. Then one night, a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach come to help him escape, and he discovers that he can speak—to them. And the animals need him. Only Kester, with the aid of a stubborn, curious girl named Polly, can help them survive. The animals saved Kester. But can he save them?

The introduction to dystopian and science fiction, led my oldest to find his very own genre—Apocalyptic fiction. That’s the best feeling and ultimate goal as a parent who loves literature. His favorite book in the Bible has always been Revelation, so this seems perfectly aligned. 

My oldest read the whole series of The Last Kids On Earth. Which I believe is now a series on Netflix 

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