I've read two books recently that I highly recommend. The first is an adult dystopian novel that did not receive the attention it deserved when it came out last year, but was a favorite of many reviewers. In general, I've had my fill of dystopian novels, but any genre can be good if the writer makes it so.
It is one of the less-grim dystopian novels that I've come across, and I appreciated that. The intricate plot kept me turning pages, and the characters are so vivid that you miss them after you read the last page. The book also raises philosophical issues about art and history and change that merit contemplating. One of the central themes dances around this quotation from an episode of Star Trek: Voyager: “Survival is insufficient."
One of my students recommended this book, and I'm so glad I took him up on it. I hear that it is a very popular read-aloud in elementary schools, and I can see why. The story deals with big issues -- treatment of animals, how children are affected by the parents' economic situations -- very gently. And it is a good old-fashioned read!