Oh, woe, dystopian is dead. How often have I heard that lately, and how wrong is it?
The annual What Kids Are Reading report found that dystopian fantasy and larger-than-life comedies dominate among young readers in the UK.
It notes that JRR Tolkien’s fantasy novels, which almost always rose to the top of the annual lineup, has been replaced by a deluge of dark dystopias and urban fantasies.
The report studies the reading habits of half a million children in over 2,700 UK schools. After six years of running the survey, this is the first time Tolkien’s titles haven’t featured in the top 10 places.
The most popular title for this year’s survey was John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, followed by two (wait for it) dystopian stories: Suzanne Collins’s Catching Fire and Veronica Roth’s Divergent.
Dystopian fiction is alive and well…OK, perhaps oppressed and in need of an uprising, but well enough, shall we say.
And what plays overseas, I’ve found, often plays well with American readers.