Thursday, March 22, 2012

Five YA novels in which environmental catastrophe leads to a dystopia

At Slate, Torie Bosch has an interesting essay about how dystopian young-adult fiction is tackling the social consequences of global warming. Her starting point is The Hunger Games story, and she tags a few other similarly themed novels, including:

Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien. About the novel:
After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents disappear.

As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she faces the brutal injustice of the Enclave and discovers she alone holds the key to a secret code, a code of “birthmarked” babies and genetic merit.

Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, Birthmarked explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where a criminal is defined by her genes, and one girl can make all the difference.

Read--Caragh O'Brien's Birthmarked, the movie.
Learn about four other novels Bosch mentioned.

Read Bosch's essay.

--Marshal Zeringue