Although America has become more progressive over the past decade, many people still suffer from social injustice, not only in the United States, but all around the world. Books are great in this regard because they can help spread awareness to these issues. The following books talk about social injustices that have existed in the past, are present now, or may be a problem in the future.
THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, takes place in a dystopian society that forces children between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the death in a battle called The Hunger Games. However, only children from the districts are forced to fight. The kids living lives of luxury in the Capitol are off the hook. Although other themes such as friendship and romance help develop the story’s plot as well, the main plot focuses on the unfair treatment that the people who live in the districts receive at the hands of the Capitol.
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THE OUTSIDERS, By S.E. Hinton
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, is a classic tale that takes place in the 1960s. The story starts with the protagonist, a greaser named Ponyboy, being jumped by some socs in his town. The greasers are the poor and lower-middle residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma and the socs are the rich ones. The story focuses around the injustices that the greasers face at the hands of the socs. Although, it was published in 1967, The Outsiders is still being read by many teens today, and that’s because it’s such a relatable piece.
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THE HANDMAID’S TALE, by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, is a dystopian novel that was published in 1985. Due climate change and toxic chemicals causing most of the women in Gilead (which used to be known as the United States) to become infertile, the country becomes a patriarchal society where all female bodies are viewed as objects. The women in The Handmaid’s Tale are basically at the mens’ mercy. They are unable to make their own choices about where they want their lives to go; society makes those for them. Sexism still takes place in 2021— wage gaps still exist and many men still treat woman and girls like objects. Everyone who is old enough today should read this novel, as it replicates society today in many ways.
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DOROTHY MUST DIE, by Danielle Paige
Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige, is a Fantasy novel that focuses around Aum Gum’s (the protagonist) fight against Oz’s viscous, power-hungry ruler Dorothy Gale. Dorothy is no longer the sweet, innocent girl we know from the original tale who sings about rainbows and lemon-drops but a malicious dictator who will hurt her citizens to keep her throne. Although this is a Fantasy novel, Paige does an amazing job at making it relatble to those living in present time. We have all heard about the Holocaust, and there are many similarities between Dorothy Gale in this novel and Adolf Hitler.
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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi, is a fantasy novel that takes place in a world where magic is forbidden. Those who have magic in their blood are called maji and are oppressed and sometimes even killed. Children of Blood and Bone conveys how people are discriminated against for things that they can’t control, just like African American’s are discriminated against in 2021 because of the color skin that they were born with. In a way, this novel is a parallel of the United States in 2021, which is why it’s so important to read.
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You should, without a doubt, read all five of these books. They are so different from one another, yet so similar. And all of them, whether it seems like it or not, replicate present society in some way. Social Injustice should never be tolerated, and we can all hope that books like the five shown above will help the United States, and the world has a whole, create a better future for all people.