What is Dystopia?

The definition of dystopia is a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding (dictionary.com). Literally the opposite of utopia. In literature, this is often a futuristic society or a society which could have been formed after certain historical events, had things ended differently. These societies typically begin with people's best intentions, but end up being worse than what previously existed.

For more information on dystopias in literature, visit:

Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dystopia - a great depiction of current and classic dystopian literature and the societies they present.

This pathfinder is intended to help students find books with similar themes within the sub-genre of dystopian fiction. It is also intended to help students and teachers find electronic materials relevant to these books for use in the classroom, book clubs, or for personal use. It is my ho pe that through these materials and recommendations, readers will continue to read within and beyond the genre, perhaps even moving from the contemporary dystopian literature into the classic dystopian literature.

I made a separate page for each of the recent popular series. Then there is one page for the standalone contemporary novels and short stories. There is another page of "classic" dystopian novels, a page of project/extension activity ideas and a page to help you locate additional resources. The final page is how to contact me.

I picked my favorites and recent popular series and books. For the "classics" page, I made sure the books were on at least 3 of the "Best of Dystopian Literature" lists that I found online (See Locating Additional Resources page). I only included the ones I have heard a lot about or read. I also read a lot of reviews of the books and tried to pick the best books.

Site created by: 
Abby Tipton
6th grade Reading Teacher            SLIS Student
East Jay Middle School                    IUPUI
Portland, IN                                          Indianapolis, IN

This pathfinder was created in the winter of 2011 for SLIS 603 - Electronic Materials for Children.