The National Post, a Canadian newspaper, ran an article today about the current popularity of dystopian and post-apocalyptic kid lit.
Thanks to Suzanne Collins’ mega-selling Hunger Games trilogy, dystopian and post-apocalyptic kid lit has replaced vampires as the biggest thing in YA publishing.
The Hunger Games is certainly not alone in a field that includes books such as Blood Red Road by Moira Young, Matched by Ally Condie, Wither by Lauren DeStefano and Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Lisa A. Sandell, an executive editor at Scholastic Press in New York, has this suggestion for why the genre is so popular.
I definitely think that as the world continues to feel scary — and it does — readers will be drawn to the genre. I don’t know if it’s going to trail off after awhile. The vampires don’t seem to be going anywhere …”
Judith Saltman, chair of the MA program in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia offers this idea:
It’s always easier for teens to read about big philosophical questions in mythopoeic form such as fantasy and science fiction than to see it close up and personal in their daily lives. Perhaps reading the sociopolitical metaphors here gives them the educated imagination and critical thinking to apply courage and action in their daily lives.
Though the article mentions several other dystopian YA books, it returns to the The Hunger Games as a sign of the genre’s success. You can read the complete article here.
What are your thoughts on The Hunger Games leading the way for others in the genre? Has your love of the trilogy, inspired you to read more dystopian works? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.