If this election, or the general state of our government entirely, has got you down, then you need a lesson in perspective from some of the best YA and children's authors out there. Let's start my round up of it-could-be-a-whole-lot-worse dystopian novels.
1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Let's just start with the most obvious first, shall we? I think that we can all agree that higher taxes are more preferable to sacrificing children to fight to the death. All of the Hunger Games books are out, so you can read straight through-no waiting for the next one! Ages 13-adult
2. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Tally lives in a society where everyone is made pretty on their 16 birthday, but they are also made stupid, and become pawns of their government. How dare the government dictate how you look? We would have no Lady Gaga or Ke$ha that way. Um, maybe there is some wisdom in this plan. Again, all of the books of this series have been released. After Tally, other dystopian heroines will pale in comparison. Ages 13-adult
3. Divergent by Veronica Roth. I have very recently talked about this one and my huge crush on Four. But again, couldn't we all deal with less than perfect health care to not jump out of a speeding train and plummet to our death over Chicago? Two of three of this series are out, the movie is being cast (please don't cast Four as jailbait!), and another book is on the way. Ages 13-adult
4. Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I also recently talked about Delirium. And to sum up the Beatles-all you need is love. Let's all be glad that we live in a society where love is not against the law. This is the first in a series, but number 2 is already out, so no waiting! Ages 13-20.
5. Beta by Rachel Cohn. Who wants their dead body to be turned into the host for a cyborg and then sent to be an unthinking servant? Not cool. At least I know my government won't turn me into a robot when I die! First in a series, you'll have a tough wait for this one-the ending is just too much! Ages 15-20.
6. Matched by Ally Conde. Not only are marriages arranged, but sometimes they get it all wrong. Plus, on grandpa's 80th birthday, he's poisoned by the caretakers, and this is normal behavior. I know that senior healthcare is not great, but at least seniors aren't being poisoned in the nursing home. All three books are out! Ages 13-25
7. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Earth has become uninhabitable, so earthlings have taken to living on a giant spaceship and traveling to another planet to set up camp. But that's not the worst part. Two ships were sent out, but only one has been able to reproduce, so all of the girls are kidnapped and taken to the other ship. The environment might not be great, but at least we haven't abandoned earth-yet-I suppose that could happen, but let's stay optimistic. First in a series, so you're in for a wait. Ages 14-adult.
8. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Oldie but a goodie. Each family is allowed only two children, but some families break that rule and these become the hidden children, but the government often raids houses looking for them. At least in America you can still have as many children as you want. This is a whole long series, but it's a quick read and you can go straight to the next one. Ages 9 to 14
9. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Even in this society, you are typically only allowed two, but Ender is an exception. This is like a video game where the outcome is real. Ender is a great character, and while this book works just fine alone, if you can't get enough, there are plenty of others. Ages 12-adult
10. The Giver by Lois Lowry. This is probably the first dystopian novel most children encounter. Newbery-award winning and so moving, Jonas is assigned the role of giver in his society. He is the only one that will feel pleasure and pain. Let's be thankful that in our society, we can choose our profession that we can also choose our feelings. Lois Lowry has come out with plenty of companion books to The Giver, most recently Son earlier this year. Ages 10-adult
So, let's all take a minute and be thankful for our government. It's not perfect-no no-but we're still on earth, we still have free will, and most importantly, no one is turning me into a cyborg when I die. Although I'm sure there are plenty of people that would welcome that option.
On election night, I recommend picking up one of these books, because after that, whoever wins the presidency will seem downright wonderful in comparison! Let's all remember that our options are far better than President Snow.