Monday, January 21, 2019

YA Dystopian Classics - The Chrysalids

Do you remember the first young adult, dystopian novel you ever read?  For me, it was John Wyndham's The Chrysalids. I read it sometime around the 6th grade, and then again this weekend.

I've been reading a number of YA dystopian novels lately, looking for a series to read with my younger three to follow up The Hunger Games, and hopefully lead us into a study of the genre.  I'm finding, they are all very similar - but they are not all well written or worth reading.  Some, in fact, are embarrassingly awful. A few are interesting, but contain subject matter or language that would make them awkward or inappropriate to read out loud together.

After reading and rejecting several, I started wondering if it wasn't the writing, but me.  They are young adult fiction after all, and I am certainly not a young adult.  

So, I went back to the beginning and re-read Wyndham's classic, and found that even though it was originally published in 1955, and directed at a younger audience (the protagonist is 10 years old at the beginning of the story, aging to 20 by the end),the writing is sharp, the themes are still relevant, challenging, and as thought provoking as anything Atwood or Orwell have asked adult readers to consider - really quite the (six-toed) feat.


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I did not read this one, but the name rang the bell - I read his The Day of the Triffids. It was a great book and still relevant even though written so long ago.

Ticia said...

I have very mixed feelings about dystopian books. I also think several of the series that came out recently was just to cash in on the popularity of Hunger Games, and aren't necessarily all that good.