Hunger Games Readalikes for Middle Grade Readers

Since the success of the Hunger Games, dystopian novels have surged in popularity.  What does “dystopian” mean?  Dystopian genrally refers to a society that is declining–the opposite of a utopian; oftentimes, these stories take place in the far future after a major world changing event.  Popular themes for dystopian books are natural disasters, wars, extreme technological advances, or plague.

Look below for some great dystopian recommendations for readers ages 8 and up.

All of these books are shelved in our Junior High Fiction section.  Click on the book cover to search for it in our catalog.

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.
Henrietta and her pals Gary and Rose all have headaches with an unknown cause and experience other strange incidents–including the appearance of a threatening creature called the Wikkeling–and are hopeful that an ancient bestiary can help solve these mysteries.
Born half-grown in a world that is being destroyed, Fisher has instinctive knowledge of many things, including that he must avoid the robot that knows his name.
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
In 2140 England, where drugs enable people to live forever and children are illegal, Anna, a “Surplus” training to become a servant, discovers that her birth parents are trying to find her.
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family’s farm, until another “third” convinces him that the government is wrong.
Young Will Parker and his companions make a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture mature human beings and make them docile, obedient servants.
In futuristic Satellite City, fourteen-year-old Cosmo Hill escapes from his abusive orphanage and teams up with three other people who share his unusual ability to see supernatural creatures.

Jane Gov

Jane is a Youth Services Librarian at Pasadena Central Library. She purchases YA books for the library system and maintains the teen booklist, online resources, and webpages. She oversees Teen & YA programs including Summer Reading, Advisory Board, Zine, book reviewers, Teen Mental Health Initiative, and volunteers. She also coordinates the library's Innovation Lab, STEAM Kits project, and Young Readers League. She also conducts a few kids events and storytimes. Jane is a contributor to VOYA Magazine and a YALSA Board member.  A majority of her free time is spent with her two corgis Tyrion and Gimli. She tweets as @missjanegov.

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