“Hunger Games Sorts of Books:” Care2 Readers’ Favorites

Hunger Games readers will love this:  our community has offered wonderful additions to Ashley Lauren’sHunger Games” piece, which suggested similar novels.   We’ll continue to add them to this post. Cindy Samuels (Managing Editor, Causes)

The trick to a dystopian novel is to take things that really are happening in the world, and carry them to the extreme. Have children fighting for food, women being reduced to breeding machines, books made illegal and goon squads ordered to burn them, every aspect of life controlled by law and under constant observation… All of these things have actually happened. In “The Handmaid’s Tale,” every outrageous abuse women suffered had a parallel somewhere in the modern world. 

These novels are designed to remind us how easily a society can move in the wrong direction and begin to devalue human intelligence and human rights, how easily a society can be mislead into letting someone who claims to speak for a nebulous moral authority decide what’s good for them, and who can be discounted as having no worth. 

The books remind us that we don’t have to slip in that direction. We can always, while the spark of human intellect and human conscience still remains, move away from the edge of the abyss. 
 Marianne C.

I would like to recommend John Marsden’s Tomorrow When The War Began, the story of a group of teenagers who become secret warriors when their country is attacked. Barrie C.

i agree re.the title above being misleading…also would recommend Octavia E. Butler’s “Parable Of The Sower” Emma D.

I echo Harry Harrison’s “Make Room, Make Room,” “Sea of Glass” by Barry Longyear. 
There is a tremendous amount of really good work available in the SF (speculative fiction) category. The works mentioned by commenters and the article include only a small fraction of the best work. Richard P.

Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” should be on that list – she completely lifted the “mutts” from him. Gaby Javitt

…the novel which the author credits as inspiring The Hunger Games isn’t on this list. That novel is called “Battle Royale,” and probably got skipped because it wasn’t originally in English–it’s Japanese. Miaka P.

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. One of my favorite short stories by this wonderful author. About a child kept captive in a town where his misfortune keeps everyone else happy and successful. Powerful. Alice E.

I would also add Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, written just after the Bolshevik revolution. MaryEllen C.

Anthem?!!? Why not give them Atlas Shrugged while you’re at it? Maureen H.

I’ve read most of these. There was one left out: ‘Make Room, Make Room!’ by Harry Harrison. In this book, the dystopian society settles for a ‘new’ way of extending the food supply by adding the flesh of the dead to it in the popular ‘soylent green’ food product. . . .. A second book might also be considered: ‘Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman’ by Harlan Ellison. Living by the clock was never so lethal. Fred K.

Excellent reading list! Thanks for posting it. . . .One of my all-time favorite books, a life-changing one, is “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein. It isn’t exactly dystopian but the setting is similar… the outcome is less dark than dystopian literature but the path to get there is very thought-provoking. TANSTAAFL! Fiona D.

For any talk of literature, check out Philip Caputo. His is not light reading but developed stories of characters weaving along parallel tracks to a denouement to excite the discerning reader with an active mind and imagination to create images from his words. Donald T.

Let’s not forget a movie which more than inspired the Hunger Games, the Japanese movie Battle Royale. Christoffer I.


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Racist Hunger Games Fans Rebel Against Movie’s Diversity

Hunger Games Opens Friday; Why We Can’t Wait


Photo from The Hunger Games


Julie W.
Jules W6 years ago

Thanks for the share!

Joel Boyce
Joel Boyce6 years ago

Ah, book recommendations! One of my favourite things.

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale has been mentioned, but my favourite from her is the more recent Oryx and Crake.

Geoff Ryman's novel, The Child's Garden has shades of Orwell but otherwise defies comparison, the voice is so fresh and the world-building so unusual.

Just this year I discovered Ryan Oakley's Technicolor Ultramall, which seems like a spiritual sequel to A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess. That earlier work has, it seems, been somehow forgotten, although the other dystopian/social satire standards by Orwell, Huxley, and Bradbury have gotten a mention. Read Burgess in the British edition, published as intended complete with the final chapter.

Colleen Prinssen
Colleen Prinssen6 years ago

I am half joking when I say this. but "how do you write dystopian stories for the kindergarden and pre school crowd"?

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe6 years ago

Some of these seem a little too 'strong' to be on a child's reading list!!

Debbie Miller
Debbie Miller6 years ago

I need to see the movie first ! thanks for the info.

Lynne B.
Lynne B6 years ago

I haven't read them yet so can't make an honest comment. I do know that our library can't keep them on the shelves and reservations for some of the books are 7 people long. I'm waiting for the craze to move on then I'll read them.

Marianne B.
Marianne B6 years ago

I'm confused. Did I miss a previous article on books? This article sounded more like a rebuttal. I prefer movies and books based on true events.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago


a             y m.
g d c6 years ago


Mercedes Lackey
Mercedes Lackey6 years ago

While we are talking dystopia, I recommend another Heinlein book; "Revolt in 2100" in which the US is ruled by a repressive theocracy that began with the election of the televangelist Nehemiah Scudder in 2018.