Children’s dystopian fiction and guilty pleasures

Imogen Russell Williams has an intriguing piece on the children’s dystopian fiction on the Guardian books blog. It seems to me that it fits in well with one of the processes of children’s literature, that the discourse is there to jab the reader into some sort of action to prevent the calamity. It does run the risk of being overdone, overplayed though, like most genre-related takes on the world.

What I do like about the article is the admission that reading these books takes the author back to a less apathetic child. Perhaps most adults, whilst aware of the world, are reluctant to fully engage with it and wanting fixes rather than the change often necessary. Why? Idealism? If so is that idealism inculcated through the way the world is presented in literature?  Perhaps its an extension of the idea of childhood innocence – that the world can be changed – but children are far more exposed to the world via communications and the sereis of Tubes called the Internet.

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