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Updated by kaputd on Dec 12, 2016
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Dystopian Fiction for Children

Here is a Dystopian Book list appropriate for children in the 5th through 8th grades.

Can You Survive in a Dystopia?

"The world is a shell of its former self. Most of the world's population is gone. You're one of the few lucky survivors, but can you trust the people that remain? Or will you face the bleak future on your own? When YOU CHOOSE what to do next, the choices you make could mean the difference between life and death. How long can you survive in a dystopia?"--Goodreads summary

Dreambender

"Everyone in the City is assigned a job by the choosers--keeper, catcher, computer. Callie Crawford is a computer. She works with numbers: putting them together, taking them apart. Her work is important, but sometimes she wants more. Jeremy Finn is a dreambender. His job is to adjust people's dreams. He and others like him quietly remove thoughts of music and art to keep the people in the City from becoming too focused on themselves and their own feelings rather than on the world. They need to keep the world safe from another Warming. But Jeremy thinks music is beautiful, and when he pops into a dream of Callie singing, he becomes fascinated with her. He begins to wonder if there is more to life than being safe. Defying his community and the role they have established for him, he sets off to find her in the real world. Together, they will challenge their world's expectations. But how far will they go to achieve their own dreams?"--Goodreads summary

Off the Road

"It's 2035, when children are seen as more important than adults, and the Oldies, like Gandy -- Tom's grandfather -- are sent to Memory Theme Parks. But Gandy escapes into the world outside their walled city, and Tom has no choice but to follow. And the more Tom learns about the wilderness, the more he wonders: Is the wall meant to keep the Outsiders out, as he's been taught in school -- or the Insiders in?"--Goodreads summary

Running Out of Time

"When a diphtheria epidemic hits her 1840 village, thirteen-year-old Jessie discovers it is actually a 1995 tourist site under unseen observation by heartless scientists, and it's up to Jessie to escape the village and save the lives of the dying children."--Publisher summary

Saving Sky

"The country is at war, terrorists strike at random, widespread rationing is in effect, and the power grid is down. But thirteen-year-old Sky Brightman is remarkably untouched by it all. She lives off the grid on sixty acres of rural New Mexico ranch land with chores to do and horses to ride and no television or internet to bring disturbing news into her family's adobe house. Sky's schoolmates think she's a little weird. Then a string of mysterious arrests begins, and her new friend, Kareem, becomes a target. Sky is finally forced to confront the world in all its complexity. Summoning her considerable courage and ingenuity, she takes a stand against injustice. With humor, hope, and fierce determination, she proves that even a child can change the world."--Goodreads summary

16

Shift

Shift

"In fifteen year-old Adrian Havoc's world, Homestate rules every aspect of society: identity cards need to be carried at all times, evolution is a forbidden topic of discussion, and religious education is enforced in daily "rapture" doses. If life weren't hard enough, now come the threats that the end of the world--SHIFT--is quickly approaching. But Adrian refuses to accept things as they are. He sets out for the toxic Deadlands on a trip that may very well alter the course of the universe. In this powerful, thought-provoking and by turns humorous novel, Charlotte Agell uncovers the painful consequences of war and uncertain governments in an imagined—yet disturbingly realistic—world."--Goodreads summary

Swipe (Swipe, #1)

"Everyone gets the Mark. It gives all the benefits of citizenship. Yet if getting the Mark is such a good thing, then why does it feel so wrong? Set in a future North America that is struggling to recover after famine and global war, "Swipe" follows the lives of three kids caught in the middle of a conflict they didn't even know existed. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship. The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping. It's almost Logan Langly's 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn't been able to shake the feeling he's being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back. When Logan and his friends discover the truth behind the Mark, will they ever be able to go back to being normal teenagers?"--Goodreads summary

The Firefly Code

"Mori and her friends live a normal life on Firefly Lane in their utopian community, Old Harmonie. In a world this safe and perfect, they've never had to question anything . . . never had to wonder about how their lives came to be. Until a new girl named Ilana moves in. She's so perfect that Mori and her friends are curious . . . Where exactly did Ilana come from, and why does she act so strange sometimes? When Ilana's secret is revealed, the kids on Firefly Lane must decide: is it finally time to start questioning the only world they've ever known? "--Goodreads summary

The Line (The Line, #1)

"An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the United States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It's said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line. Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel's dad died in the last war. It's a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help. Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?"--Goodreads summary

The One Safe Place

"Devin doesn't remember life before the world got hot; he has grown up farming the scorched earth with his grandfather in their remote valley. When his grandfather dies, Devin heads for the city. Once there, among the stark glass buildings, he finds scores of children, just like him, living alone on the streets. They tell him rumors of a place for abandoned children, with unlimited food and toys and the hope of finding a new family. But only the luckiest get there. An act of kindness earns Devin an invitation to the home, but it's soon clear that it s no paradise. As Devin investigates the intimidating administrator and the zombie-like sickness that afflicts some children, he discovers the home's horrific true mission. The only real hope is escape, but the place is as secure as a fortress. Fans of dystopian fiction and spine-chilling adventure will devour "The One Safe Place;" its haunting themes will resonate long after readers have turned the final page."--Goodreads summary

The Roar (The Roar, #1)

"Mika and Ellie live in a future behind a wall: Solid concrete topped with high-voltage razor wire and guarded by a battalion of Ghengis Borgs, it was built to keep out the animals, because animals carry the plague. At least that's what Ellie, who was kidnapped as a child, has always been taught. But when she comes to suspect the truth behind her captivity, she's ready to risk exposure to the elements and answer the call of the wild. Listen. Can you hear it? She's strapping on her headset, jumpstarting her Pod Fighter, and--with her capuchin monkey at her back--she's breaking out!"--Goodreads summary

The Scavengers

"When the world started to fall apart, the government gave everyone two choices: move into the Bubble Cities…or take their chances outside. Maggie's family chose to live in the world that was left behind. Deciding it's time to grow up and grow tough, Maggie rechristens herself "Ford Falcon"—a name inspired by the beat-up car she finds at a nearby junkyard. Ford's family goes to this junkyard to scavenge for things they can use or barter with the other people who live OutBubble. Her family has been able to survive this brave new world by working together. But when Ford comes home one day to discover her home ransacked and her family missing, she must find the strength to rescue her loved ones with the help of some unlikely friends."--Goodreads summary

The Sky Inside (The Sky Inside, #1)

"Martin lives in a perfect world. Every year a new generation of genetically-engineered children is shipped out to meet their parents. Every spring the residents of his town take down the snow they've stuck to their windows and put up flowers. Every morning his family gathers around their television and votes, like everyone else, for whatever matter of national importance the president has on the table. Today, it is the color of his drapes. It's business as usual under the protective dome of suburb HM1. And it's all about to come crashing down. Because a stranger has come to take away all the little children, including Martin's sister, Cassie, and no one wants to talk about where she has gone. The way Martin sees it, he has a choice. He can remain in the dubious safety of HM1, with danger that no one wants to talk about lurking just beneath the surface, or he can actually break out of the suburb, into the mysterious land outside, rumored to be nothing but blowing sand for miles upon miles. Acclaimed author Clare B. Dunkle has crafted a fresh and fast-paced science-fiction thriller, one that challenges her characters -- and her readers -- to look closer at the world they take for granted."--Goodreads summary

The Unwanteds (Unwanteds, #1)

"When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination. It’s hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate—until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artimé. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation. But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artim that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle."--Goodreads summary

The Wikkeling

"In the enormous city of the Addition, all children are SAFE, SECURE, and SUPERVISED, and are watched by cameras even while they sleep. Henrietta is unlikable at her competitive school until she meets Gary and Rose. They all share something in common: headaches with an unknown cause. Then, late one night, Henrietta makes a startling discovery when she finds a wounded cat in the attic above her bedroom. Soon after, a series of strange occurrences follow, including the appearance of a threatening creature with long, waxy fingers, who calls itself the Wikkeling. With the help of an ancient Bestiary, will Henrietta and her friends solve these mysteries before the Wikkeling finally catches them?"--Goodreads summary

Treasure (Seed Savers, #1)

"It’s 2077. There’s no apocalypse, but some things are different. Things like the weather, the internet, and food. In twelve-year-old Clare’s world, blueberry is just a flavor and apples are found only in fairy tales. Then one day Clare meets an old woman who teaches her about seeds and real food. The woman (Ana) tempts Clare with the notion that food exists other than the square, processed, packaged food she has always known. Under Ana’s tutelage, Clare and her friends learn about seeds and gardening despite suspicions that such actions are illegal. When the authorities discover the children’s forbidden tomato plant and arrest their mother, Clare and her brother flee. Clare has heard of a place called "The Garden State," and with their bikes, a little money, and backpacks, the children begin a lonely cross-country journey that tests them both physically and spiritually. Will they succeed in their quest to find a place of food freedom? And can they, only children, help change the world? Treasure is a gentle dystopian, frightening only is the possibility that we may not be far from the future it paints."--Goodreads summary

Virtual War (Virtual War Chronologs, #1)

"Imagine a life of virtual reality -- a childhood contained in a controlled environment, with no human contact or experiences outside of the world of computer-generated images.Corgan has been genetically engineered by the Federation for quick reflexes, high intelligence, and physical superiority. Everything Corgan is, everything he has ever seen or done, was to prepare him for one moment: a bloodless, computer-controlled virtual war.When Corgan meets his two fellow warriors, he begins to question the Federation. Now Corgan must decide where his loyalties lie, what he's willing to fight for, and exactly what he wants in return. His decisions will affect not only these three virtual warriors, but all the people left on earth."--Goodreads summary