Top Ten Dystopian Books For Children

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The future is a scary thing - who knows what it will bring? Writing about dystopian societies has been a feature of adult novels for a long, long time, but there's some fantastic stuff about for the younger ones. Post-apocalytpic fiction will thrill them, but it will also engage them in positive ideas about shaping the future. It's a win-win situation. Why not tell us about your favourites?

Unwind by Neal Shusterman


A powerful, shocking, and intelligent novel about a future which practises retroactive abortion on troublesome teenagers, then uses their body parts for transplant. It's wonderful, wonderful stuff - but sensitive readers may be troubled by a shocking description of the process. Full review...

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness


A compelling, original and pacy future dystopian book with great originality and a dollop of wonderfully observed humour. Bookbag doesn't approve of the cliffhanger ending, which is the only thing keeping it from a five star rating. Full review...

Bad Faith by Gillian Philip


A blend of love story, political thriller and murder mystery in this dystopian future book about religious fundamentalism. It presses all the buttons, has great tension, and is a rattlingly good read. Gillian Philip was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag. She has some really fascinating things to say! Full review...

The Rule of Claw by John Brindley


This is a timely, pacy and exciting future catastrophe novel suitable for tens and up. There's a little bit too much going on at times, but it's beautifully observed and its central characters are wonderfully charismatic. Full review...

The Declaration by Gemma Malley


A tense and dramatic novel speculating on life in a future where drugs have banished old age and death. Mostly for teens, but the quality of writing is such that thoughtful younger children could approach it too. Full review...

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Exciting future catastrophe novel focusing on gladatorial style combat games. It's pacy and incredibly absorbing with a dynamic and attractive central character. Great stuff, if a little on the long side for perfect Bookbag comfort. Full review...

Double Cross (Noughts & Crosses) by Malorie Blackman


Tense, immediate, colloquial, heart-breaking - Blackman's Noughts & Crosses sequence continues to raise the bar with this latest instalment. Don't miss them. Full review...

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher


Beautifully imagined and realised, this novel of future regression is rich with strong characters, big issues and a compelling plot. It is a barnstorming piece of serious fantasy that doesn't put a foot wrong. Full review...

Silverhorse by Lene Kaaberbol


A stunningly well-told thriller-fantasy with role reversal, a strong female lead character and some interesting questions about the nature of power. Highly recommended for the early teens. Full review...

The Witness by James Jauncey


Wonderful, challenging novel encouraging political participation and moral questions about life and land, while providing a really tense and well-paced adventure story. The very end is perhaps a little too tidy for the most sophisticated readers but other than that, this is classy, admirable stuff. Full review...

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