8 December, 2021

LitStaff Pick: Our Favorite Subversive Fiction

The Hunger Games Trilogy
Suzanne Collins

The most subversive fiction I’ve read recently is the Hunger Games Trilogy. I enjoyed it so much that I actually taught the series to my 8th graders last year. I mean, what book perfectly describes how one small act, one choice against a regime, can change an entire world? I believed that specific theme would be perfect to teach my students how they can influence change in their world, not just on a global scale, but at the community level.

In California, 8th graders also learn about the American Revolution and I felt my students could connect to their history by reading about another revolution. At the same time, when I first read the books, Egypt was (and realistically still is) in the middle of their own revolution. As we read Mockingjay, I had my students research the Arab Spring and connect it to their own country’s history. In the end, my students were able to realize that revolution is still happening in the world today.

Coincidentally, just weeks after we finished the book, our school almost closed due to political shenanigans from the city. My students were able to immediately realize that they could make a difference by speaking out, by creating their own revolution. It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to take what they had read and researched and apply it to their own lives. Many students commented that they felt like Katniss fighting for their rights.

If getting 13-14 year olds to recognize how much their voice matters, then subversive fiction is the way to go.

-K. Imani Tennyson

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