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And I'm closing out the 31 days of Black Speculative Fiction Month with Octavia Butler, the mother (or godmother if you prefer) of Black Science Fiction.
I chose the books that caught my imagination, but there are more on the New Books and Black pages. Keep checking back to find new books. Or check out the other pages that feature a wide range of protagonists, including the classics.
Octavia Butler's YA classic, The Parable of the Sower, features a dystopian landscape and the struggle of a young woman to survive the loss of her family, collapse of the former United States and a variety of ecological disasters, including global warming. If your teen loves the Hunger Games, give him or her this prototype of the modern dystopian YA novel.
"In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future
"Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.
"When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind."