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divergent faction reading list

I’m putting together a Divergent movie release party at the library, and I always like to make a booklist in conjunction with big programs (for example, I made this Choose Your Own Apocalypse guide for our Teen Read program). While Divergent is still popular at the library and there is a lot of buzz leading up to the movie release, a lot of readers are so over dystopian and post-apocalyptic YA. I thought a nice way to tie a wide variety of books to Divergent would be to make reading lists by faction. I tried to find books that were not circulating as much as I thought they should, older hidden gems, and a few brand new releases and personal favorites. There’s a nice mix of realistic, fantasy, sci-fi, and historical. I’m also trying to make sure I include diverse books in every display or booklist, not just ones specifically designed for that purpose, so there should be a fair amount of often under-represented books present. Hopefully everyone can find something they’ll like on this list!

I’ve scheduled one guide and the accompanying mini-book talk blurbs to go up in a blog post on the library website each week leading up to the movie release, but I thought I’d put it all in one place for other readers or librarians.

abnegation

Something Like Hope – Shawn Goodman

Shavonne has been in a juvenile detention facility since 7th grade. Despite her difficult life, she saves the life of a mentally unstable roommate and defends those weaker than herself. With the help of a counselor, Shavonne begins to hope for a better life. Members of the Abnegation faction would appreciate this moving story about how we can help others.

Vessel – Sarah Beth Durst

Liyana has always known that in order for her tribe to continue to survive in the harsh desert, she must give her body over to become a vessel for their goddess, Bayla. She has selflessly accepted her fate, but though she performs the rituals, the goddess does not come and her people abandon her. She then embarks on a quest to find not only her missing goddess, but the kidnapped gods of other tribes as well. This unique fantasy will delight and inspire the self-sacrificing abnegation.

Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler

Jude’s idea of an exciting summer after high school graduation didn’t include taking care of her father, who has early onset Alzheimer’s disease, but she selflessly sees that he is safe and tried to help him hold onto his memories by restoring his motorcycle he rode around Argentina in the happy days of his youth.

Scarlet – AC Gaughen

This re-imagining of the Robin Hood tale still stays true to the calling of the band of thieves in the original. Abnegation might not approve of their tactics, but would certainly sympathize with the motivations for “robbing from the rich to feed the poor.”

Burn  – Heath Gibson

William Tucker is a good guy–he gets good grades, has a part-time job, and is even a volunteer firefighter, but he still doesn’t live up to his father’s expectations. Members of the Amity faction will relate to his aspirations and find his struggles compelling.

Juvie – Steve Watkins

When Sadie accepts the blame for a crime she didn’t commit to keep her older sister out of jail, she learns about self-sacrifice and that “maybe not being guilty wasn’t the same as being innocent.”

amity

Crossing Stones – Helen Frost

This novel in verse follows several teens during WWII, where some experience war firsthand and others fight for peace and women’s suffrage, causes that Amity members would surely support.

Sorta Like a Rock Star – Matthew Quick

This is the story of Amber Appleton, who is relentlessly friendly and optimistic, even though she lives in a yellow school bus with her mom. If she lived in the world of Divergent, she’d definitely choose the Amity faction.

All You Get Is Me – Yvonne Prinz

Aurora lives on an organic farm and advocates for the rights of migrant workers — she’d surely fit in with other Amity members.

Peaches – Jodi Lynn Anderson

This story about three girls who spend the summer on a Georgia peach farm and the power of true friendship captures the true Amity spirit.

Resistance – Carla Jablonski

This graphic novel is about taking a stand against the atrocities of war, and the themes will resonate with members of Amity.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green

If any faction is going to start writing musicals, it will be Amity. This story alternates viewpoints between two boys with the same name who accidentally meet and end up having their lives play out on stage in a musical written by their mutual friend, Tiny Cooper.

candor

All the Truth That’s In Me – Julie Berry

Judith disappears from her village, then returns, unable to speak about what happened to her during the last few years. When her community is attacked, she must recover her voice so she can tell her neighbors the truth.

The Sin-Eater’s Confession – Ilsa J. Bick

This novel is a confessional letter written by a military medic who is telling the story of what really happened to a odd and artistic friend who was the victim of a hate crime. The reader will have to determine how truthful Ben’s confession is.

I, Witness  – Norah McClintock

In this graphic novel, Boone witnesses a murder and fears for his own life if he turns the killers over to the police. Will be be brave enough to tell the truth?

Liar  – Justine Larbalestier

Micah is a compulsive liar who becomes a suspect in the murder of her boyfriend and finally has to start telling the truth.

Chanda’s Secrets – Allan Stratton

This Printz honor winning book set in Southern Africa where people are dying of aids is all about the harmful nature of secrets the the power of the truth.

The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen

Marcy is spending the summer silently grieving the loss of her father when she meets a boy she can finally tell the truth about how she feels.

dauntless

Sabriel – Garth Nix

Sabriel is trained in magic as a necromancer and has to journey into the world of the undead to save her father. We’re not even sure every member of Dauntless would be able to face the dangers she encounters along the way.

Bruised – Sarah Skilton

This novel about teen martial artist Imogen explores the intersection of physical strength and emotional strength. She feels guilty when she witnesses a robbery and does nothing to stop it and struggles to know when to fight. This realistic novel explores the question of what it truly means to be “strong.”

Uglies – Scott Westerfeld

Tally lives in a world where everyone has an operation at 16 to turn them “pretty.” Just as Tris discovers something sinister in her world, Tally finds out there’s more to being pretty than meets the eye, and she must also find the courage to fight against those who seek to control.

Never Fall Down – Patricia McCormick

Arn’s life is forever changed when soldiers enter his Cambodian town separate him from his family and force him into a labor camp. It takes amazing courage and bravery to survive in a war-torn country and become an agent of peace after being forced into a soldier’s life.

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

This story of a pilot and a spy during World War II is all about true bravery, and true friendship.

Divided We Fall – Trent Reedy

Dan, a soldier, accidentally fires a shot that starts a second civil war in America in the not too distant future. Many in Dauntless will relate to how easily their actions can have ripple effects that have lasting implications. As Dan says: “Once blood is spilled, we’re stuck in the fight for the long haul. If we work out a compromise, then what was the point of all those casualties?”

erudite

Origin – Jessica Khoury

Pia grew up in a secret lab in the rain forest because she was created by scientists to be the start of an immortal race. Doesn’t that sound like something the Erudite would try to do?

Deadly – Julie Chibbaro

This book is about epidemiology at beginning of a 20th century, when a seemingly healthy woman infects many people with deadly Typhoid fever and is based on a true story.

Magisterium – Jeff Hirsch

Glenn lives in a world where a fence separates her home from a land full of the unknown, but Glenn isn’t interested in the rumors of magical monsters and witches rumored to exist on the other side of the divide. Glenn’s been happy to devote her time to her studies and dream of escaping the research station where her father works, until he’s arrested and she’s on the run with nowhere to go except into the unknown. This book is for any Erudite members who appreciate science and technology, but still believe there is magic in the world.

Genius Squad – Catherine Jinks

Genius doesn’t necessarily make someone evil, but we can see some members of the Erudite faction starting the Evil Genius school that is the setting for this humorous series.

Slated – Teri Terry

Kyla has had her memory wiped because she was allegedly difficult…this procedure, known as “slating” is something Erudite would come up with.

Smart Girls Get What They Want – Sarah Strohmeyer

The title of this contemporary novel is basically the Erudite motto.

graydots

What books would you add to any of the faction lists?

Molly signature

24 thoughts on “Booklist: Faction Reading Lists for Fans of Divergent

  1. bscartabello says:

    So, now I am stalking your site! LOVE THIS POST!!! I am a huuuge Divergent fan. I need to read some of these! <3

    1. Molly Wetta says:

      ha! I found your blog because you commented on my recipe blog earlier (mollyplusmorgan.com) — but this one is the one that links first on my profile. I’m mining yours for more recipes to try!

  2. Sandi says:

    An obvious choice for Dauntless would be the entire “Hunger Games” series as well as “Battle Royale” by Koushun Takimi. I do like the suggestion of a list for Factionless. Some additions to Factionless might be “Trash” by Andy Mulligan, “Runaway” by Wendelin Van Draanen, “Can’t get there from here” by Todd Strasser.

  3. Michelle says:

    This is so fantastic!! Great idea:) I always look for a couple amity-ish books for my summer reading list:) You’ve given me more than a few to add to my TBR :D

    Michelle @ http://michelle-gaudet.blogspot.ca

  4. Sarah says:

    These are great – good looking and with a wonderful selection of titles! You have a misprint in the blurb for the Candor reading list: “…the Abnegation faction in Candor” – I think you mean “the Candor faction in Divergent”.

  5. CDBench says:

    Gospel According to Larry for Abnegation?

  6. Sarah Marshall says:

    Great list Molly! I am creating a Divergent book display for my high school library…I am excited to use the books you recommend. I love to mix in non-fiction also. Non-fiction books for Dauntless are easy (explorers, war stories, etc.) Any ideas for other factions???

    1. For Erudite, you could do books on science or math or biographies of prominent scientists. For Amity, maybe biographies of MLK or Ghandi? We have cool biographies of both of those at my library. For Abnegation, maybe books about careers in nonprofits or volunteering? Other forms of activism? For Candor, trivia could work? Books on lie dectors? I’d add some body art bok to Dauntless, too. We have some cool books on tattoos and piercings. Our nonfiction section is geared mored towards pop culture and popular reading since it’s a public library. I’m sure a school library would have more to offer.

      1. Sarah says:

        Great ideas! I forgot about our tattoo book, and biographies will work well. I made space to add books the factionless would read…lots of interesting books go there.

  7. Julie S. says:

    Kudos on this excellent post and book suggestions! I’m just going to share this link with my YA book club as a list of future book options.

  8. BringMyBooks says:

    Oh my goodness, Molly!! This is such an awesome idea! I love how you seperated out the books and your choices seem perfect. :)

    (&& can I just have a mini-freak out over Code Name Verity?!? I just finished it a few days ago and oh, but it was incredible. I am still processing to be able to write a review, because it was just so overwhelming & broad in scope – not something that processes overnight for sure! Ok. Thanks for reading my freak-out.)

    1. Thanks!

      I completely understand! I both listened to Code Name Verity on audio and then re-read the book for teen book club, and still haven’t managed to write a review :)

  9. I really like this idea, recommendations based on factions is really cool! And I ADORED All the Truth That’s In Me, it was such a touching lyrical and beautifully written story

    1. I still haven’t read it, but I’ve only heard good things!

  10. This is my favorite book list ever. So clever and creative. I want to read all of the Dauntless and Erudite books because I am totally Divergent!

    1. Thanks! Haha yeah I didn’t make one for Divergent but I guess they just get more to choose from!

  11. I love this post! What a great idea. I especially like the recommendations for Erudite. Spot on.

    1. Writing the blurbs for Erudite was definitely the most fun :)

  12. missprint says:

    These are amazing! I’d add Legend to the Dauntless list. And perhaps The Archived to Erudite–you know they’d want a library of memories.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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