Full STEAM Ahead with Chris Howard

Full STEAM Ahead


Chris Howard, author of ROOTLESS ...

I am thrilled that Chris Howard, author of the fascinating Rootless is here today for Full STEAM Ahead.  I first read Rootless a few months ago and fell in love with the world Chris built.  As I read, I was swept into Banyan’s world, full of mechanical trees, pirates, and genetically-modified corn.  I had nightmares about locusts with a taste for human flesh.  And I wanted my own mechanical tree.  Thankfully, we still have real trees so mine would only serve as decoration.

When I finished the book, I found myself thinking about the genetically-modified corn that plays such a big part in the book.  I first heard about genetically-modified food during my first-year composition course at Rutgers, when our TA had us read an article about the Monsanto Company.  I’ve kept tabs on them since that time (2001) and it amazes me that science continues to progress but that humanity has not come to a consensus on genetically modified crops.  Talk about a human issue!  Are genetically-modified crops safe for human consumption?  How do they affect the ecosystem around them? Do they disrupt pollinators? Do they contribute to climate change? How do they affect the economy?

My first-year composition course was through the English department, but my TA was a science minor.  I was lucky to have a TA who shared my interest in STEM and he brought that passion into our writing class.  Debating the Monsanto Company’s policies was a great intro to argumentative writing and helped many of my classmates dive into science when they might have avoided it in the past.  And I think Chris Howard’s book can do the same.  It brings up big questions about climate change, conservation, human progress, and genetically-modified crops that will keep readers thinking long after they finish the book.

I had a few questions for Chris Howard and he was kind enough to answer them for today’s edition of Full STEAM Ahead.

Hi Chris!  First, I am wondering- What made you focus on trees? Did writing Rootless involve any extensive research on tree species or anything like that?

My background is in ecology and environmental sciences. I studied Natural Resources Management at Colorado State University, before working for the National Park Service, teaching Forest Ecology, and leading wilderness adventure trips for teenagers. I took a lot of classes in college about trees and forests, and my love for them, as well as my education, certainly informed the writing of the book. The initial idea for ROOTLESS came when I was hiking in the mountains of Colorado and found myself surrounded by lodgepole pine trees devastated by the Mountain Pine Beetle (a big problem in certain areas of our state). I started to imagine a world where every tree, as well as all the plants and grasses and animals, had been wiped out by insects. That initial idea led to a fantastical story, but it’s definitely rooted in my scientific background 🙂

And what about the mechanics of building trees? Where did that idea come from? It must have STEM roots somewhere along the way. 🙂

Banyan (the main character who builds trees from scrap-metal until he uncovers a clue to the whereabouts of the last living trees) certainly has strong engineering skills. His forests are not just beautiful works of art, but real feats of ingenuity: towering above the dusty plains, his trees come to life at night with elaborate lighting, and the branches and leaves create music as they turn in the wind. I must admit, I have no idea how to build such forests myself! But there are people out there who do! Check out this guy!

And I think this is fascinating – these huge new artificial trees in Singapore generate solar power, act as air-venting ducts for nearby conservatories, and collect rainwater.  

The idea of a “tree builder” occurred to me almost as soon as I imagined a world without trees or nature… I thought people would build trees as a way to remember the world that once was.

Finally, I’d love to hear more about the GenTech corn in Rootless. Did you spend a lot of time researching genetically modified food? Do you have any thoughts on GM food in our world?

You know, GenTech and the corn are, at the end of the day, intended as metaphors. But as soon as I imagined locusts consuming everything in their path, I pictured one thing surviving: genetically engineered corn. I imagined it becoming the only source of food and fuel. And I imagined a single corporation controlling it…

I do believe we’re losing biodiversity as a result of corporations developing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Such companies engineer crops to be resistant to disease, insects, even pesticides. Then they slap patents on their GM seeds and release them into the environment where they outcompete and interbreed with non-GMOs, reducing biodiversity and increasing the patent-holders’ control over our food supply.

It’s too serious a subject to play around with in story-form and not do any research. And one of the most interesting things I found was this “super worm” that’s evolved to be able to resist the pesticides that Monsanto has put INSIDE corn. The GM corn in question is engineered to produce a protein that’s fatal to the rootworms that ingest it. Yet pesticide-resistant rootworms are now showing up – outsmarting the genetic engineering that was supposed to keep them away. That’s similar to how the all-consuming locusts in ROOTLESS evolved in response to GenTech’s corn.

It’s a very complicated issue, but I hope ROOTLESS will inspire some readers to think about the potential dangers that can arise when we overly-manipulate the natural world. To me, it’s not so much about the science, it’s what we do with it that’s important.



17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using salvaged scrap metal, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan’s never seen a real tree–they were destroyed more than a century ago–his missing father used to tell him stories about the Old World.

Everything changes when Banyan meets a mysterious woman with a strange tattoo, a map to the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can’t escape the locusts . . . the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn’t the only one looking for the trees, and he’s running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he’s forced to make an alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.


Before he wrote stories, Chris Howard wrote songs, studied natural resources management, and led wilderness adventure trips for teenagers. He currently lives in Denver, CO, and ROOTLESS is his first novel. Join him at http://www.chrishowardbooks.com/







Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner

It’s appropriate that I am publishing this review today, as I watch severe weather warnings scroll across the bottom of my TV.  Kate Messner’s Eye of the Storm is a science novel (a term coined by Betsy Bird) about a dark future where storms have taken over the weather pattern and have pushed people out of their homes and into planned communities.

I loved this novel.  Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a weak spot for the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre.  But I am also a huge science geek.  I struggled to choose a major in college, because I loved biology and English.  I went to a pre-engineering academy for high school.  And even today, I still raise monarch butterflies and subscribe to too many science blogs to list.  I was excited when I read that Kate was writing a book heavily based on meteorological science and I begged an ARC off the publicist at NCTE.

Jaden’s dad is a meteorological engineer and he invites her to the middle of storm country to attend a camp for gifted and talented middle schoolers.  She is happy to spend time with her father and his family and as a science geek, she looks forward to camp.  But when she gets to Oklahoma, she realizes that everything is not as it seems.  Her father’s planned, engineered stormsafe community seems to be going above and beyond in order to keep the residents safe from harm. But by avoiding the storms, they may be putting those outside the community in danger.  Once Jaden starts camp, she befriends some of the farm kids from outside the community and they all begin to dig a bit deeper into the storms.

Eye of the Storm  is recommended for middle graders, but I think it will appeal to high school readers, too.  Jaden is a great heroine who is smart, geeky, and fun.  The science in the book is top-notch and Messner keeps you on the edge of your seat.  The teens/tweens read as real kids and as a teacher of gifted students, I recognized a lot of my own students in her characters.  One warning: Be sure to have some meteorology books on hand because when kids finish this one they are going to want to read a lot about storm systems!

Highly recommended for middle school and high school libraries.  A great read for upper elementary students, too!

*ARC courtesy of the publisher at NCTE

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

It’s no secret that dystopian books are some of my favorite.  I’m thrilled that they seem to be taking over the market right now and it’s hard for me to pass up the chance to read the latest and greatest in the genre.  I saw Wither being buzzed about in the blogosphere and added it to my list of must-reads when I got a chance to glance at the cover.  How gorgeous is that?  And luckily, the story did not disappoint!

Set in the future, in a world where every human being is living a countdown; a countdown to death.  Males only live to 25 and women to age 20.  Rhine has been captured off the street, kidnapped, to be used as a bride for a wealthy young man.  At almost sixteen, she had planned to spend her remaining few years living with her twin brother and caring for him.  Instead, after being kidnapped, she is forced to marry a sad young man and live with his other two wives.  Rhine has been chosen to replace Linden’s favored first wife, recently deceased. Suddenly she is residing in a world of wealth and privilege, instead of the dangerous basement apartment she shared with her brother.  She has favored status among the wives and Linden doesn’t even seem that bad.

But Rhine longs to be free.  She plays the game, appeasing Linden and her father-in-law, appearing to be the ideal wife.  In reality, she is planning her escape.  She is determined not to live out her last days in a prison, even if it takes on the appearance of a palace.  She needs to return to her brother, and that means manipulating those around her.  But can she move through her life without having any feelings for or towards those around her?  Will she be able to break free and leave behind those who have grown to care for her, like Gabriel, her friend (and servant)?

I read mixed reviews of Wither before I ordered myself a copy.  The cover art is gorgeous and the premise sounded intriguing.  But a few bloggers I trust had so-so reactions.  Hence, I began the book a little apprehensive.  Well let me tell you- I was sucked in within the first few pages!    Some reviewers complain that the world-building is irritating in the sense that it seems incomplete.  I have to admit I didn’t notice that.  The plot and the characters drew me in so much that I didn’t even think about the world outside of Rhine’s home.  That’s a credit to DeStefano’s incredible prose.  Rhine’s emotions leap off the page, and the characterization is perfect.  There are no flat or static characters here- every single character seems to jump off the page, standing in front of you.  Everyone is real.  I can’t think of a better way to put it.  Even the characters I hated were human and sympathetic.  I felt for all of them, which was no easy feat in a book like this.  Kudos to Lauren DeStefano.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

*purchased by me

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

I am a huge Megan McCafferty fan.  Like, ridiculous fangirl, over-the-top, absolutely love her.  Jessica Darling is in my Top 10 Favorite Fictional Characters.  I recommend Sloppy Firsts: A Jessica Darling Novel (the first in the series) to everyone I know.  So when I saw that Megan was writing a dystopian YA novel, I was pretty much in heaven.  One of my favorite authors writing in my favorite genre?  I was guaranteed to love it!  Then, when Megan offered me an ARC (thank you!), I jumped on it.  When the package arrived, I was almost afraid to read it- what if I was disappointed? What if I had built it up too much? Could it be as good as I imagined it would be?

I was silly to worry. Bumped is fantastic and novel read, unlike anything else I have read.  The publisher’s summary does a great job, so I will let it do its job:

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

I was immediately intrigued after reading the back copy a few months ago.  For a long time, I have been fascinated by MTV’s Sixteen and Pregnant and Teen Mom. I feel like those two shows are a great way for parents and schools to begin talking to teens about safe sex and pregnancy.  I know that Megan was partly inspired by her own similar idea, so Bumped doesn’t shy away from some tough issues. Needless to say, I love that Megan takes on the hot-button issues, injects some sarcasm and humor, and still manages to make her reader think, and I mean really think, about the issues at hand.

Bumped is not for the faint of heart.  The reader needs to understand that the world in which Melody and Harmony exists glorifies teen pregnancy.  McCafferty doesn’t shy away from sexual language, but every word and scene choice is carefully made.  This is not a book that is meant to glorify and celebrate teen pregnancy.  Yes, that is the world it is about. But that’s not what the book is actually about, if you understand what I mean.  I think teens who read this will think about what these girls go through, and the choices they make.  There was a fantastic article in the NY Times this weekend which focused on the use of MTV’s Teen Mom in the classroom. While many adults are horrified by the popularity of the show, the article points out just how many teens are learning from the experiences of the girls on the show and the conversations that result from watching the show.  I think Bumped can and will do the same.

I’ve read a few reviews of Bumped and it seems they are mixed. But from what I see, many reviewers/readers don’t understand that McCafferty has her tongue planted firmly in cheek for the duration of the book.  This is a satire, and a very effective one at that.  Bumped is a critique.  It’s a critique of a juxtaposition- the focus on purity in religion coupled with secular society’s focus on sex and sexuality.  It satirizes the world we live in,pointing out the ridiculous path we are headed down. I loved it! I found myself putting the book down and thinking a lot as I read, and I was dying to talk to someone about it after reading.  It’s that type of book.

In the foreword, McCafferty refers to Bumped as her first “young adult” novel.  This is definitely a book that straddles the line between young adult and adult.  It’s certainly not a book for middle school students.  However, my more mature high school readers have rated it 5 stars on Goodreads.  They inherently understood that it was a satire and appreciated how much it made them think.  This may be a classic case of a book that is so perfect for YA readers that many adult gatekeepers think it is too much for them.  McCafferty does a fantastic job and I highly recommend Bumped, though I would be sure you read it yourself before putting it in your classroom library.



*ARC courtesy of the author

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Anyone who deals with teen/tween girls knows the symptoms of a crush- staring into space, making bad decisions, glazed over eyes, sometimes a whole new look. The sweet girl you thought you knew suddenly stands in front of you a completely different person. Over the span of a single school year, they can ride emotions like a roller coaster, from euphoric to despondent, over and over again.  I admit- there have been times in my teaching life when i have cursed teen/tween love.

Delirium is a dystopian novel is set in Portland, Maine.  But unlike many other YA dystopian novels, it isn’t set in the future.  Instead, it takes place in an alternate present.  In many ways, this makes the premise even more frightening.  The government has found a cure amor deliria nervosa. Mankind understands that love is the downfall of man, a disease that causes nothing but rot and ruin for those infected.

At age 18, teens undergo a surgical procedure to “cure” them of amor deliria nervosa.  They also sit through an extensive testing process in order for the government to decide upon their occupation and mate.  Lena is about to turn 18, counting down the days until she is cured.  Her life has always been in some sort of upheaval, ever since her infected mother’s suicide.  The surgery will be the final stamp on Lena’s life, ensuring that she is normal.

But nothing goes as planned. On the day of her evaluation she meets a boy. Assuming he is cured, due to the tell-tale scar on his neck, she hesitantly befriends him, spending time with him outside of home and school. But then Lena finds herself changing.  Is this fate? Or is she destined to walk the same dangerous path that her mother did?

Meeting Alex forever alters Lena’s life. Is her life a lie? Is her life any sort of life if she continues to live the way she is supposed to?

Lauren Oliver is a masterful writer.  I could not put Delirium down and I know my Hunger Games fans are going to devour it.  I also have this idea of pairing it with Romeo and Juliet. I am brainstorming here…

Oliver’s story starts out slow, so consider yourself warned.  However, it builds to a magnificent crescendo.  Oliver’s writing slowly gets under your skin and her setting, characterization, and everything else about the book seeps into your mind.  You can smell the salt air, your heart races alongside Lena’s, and you fall for Alex just as hard as she does. But the action builds and builds, and the twist at the end…oh my god!  I kept looking for another page after the last one, hoping I would suddenly find another chapter.  Or, ya know, the next book. Sadly, it appears that we have to wait for the next book in the series.  But I am sure it will be well worth the wait.

Delirium is a brilliant, fascinating look at what our world could be like. It is thought-provoking and heartbreaking and will leave you aching for more when you reach the conclusion. It will be released on February 1, 2011 and you should get to your local Indie store immediately to pre-order a copy!

*ARC from BEA

Matched by Ally Condie

Oh, how I love dystopian books.  When I saw that it was being handed out at BEA I made sure to make my way to Dutton’s booth well before the designated time.  I lucked out and got one of the ARCs a bit early and didn’t even have to wait on the long line that eventually formed.  Then I lost my job, got a new one, got married, and started all over again- no time to read books!  But ARCs are like magic reading pills and my students are gobbling them up (and then reviewing them on Goodreads!).  I am trying to tear through all the ARCs I have in order to bring them in. Ally Condie’s Matched was next on my pile this week and I almost made it a legitimate #bookaday!  Yes, it is that good.

Rather than spew out a summary, I will let the book jacket do that for you:

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

I loved, loved, loved Matched!  I’ve already passed it on to my students, who are also tearing through it.  It hasn’t been back in my classroom for more than a period since I finished reading it.  I’m already desperately awaiting the sequel, which HAS to be coming.  (It’s coming, right?  Right?!)  What I really loved is that the characters in Matched are well-developed and believable. I loved Cassia and felt like she was a friend by the end of the book.  She seems like a regular teen tossed into a strange situation, and her reactions are believable, despite the dystopian premise. Cassia is a reluctant heroine for most of the book, one who doesn’t want her world turned upside down and doesn’t necessarily want to know what’s really going on.  But by the end, she has stepped into her new role as hero.  (Again, that sequel is going to happen, right?)

The similarities to The Giver will pull a lot of reader’s in, but the romance aspect will hook those who might find Lowry’s book too tedious for them. (Not me- The Giver is in my Top 10 of favorite books!).  Condie has created a frightening world where Big Brother controls everything while letting the people believe they still have some control over their own lives.  It’s frightening.

This is a coming-of-age story, an awakening, and a fight-for-it-all-never-give-up story.  I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to read more from Ally Condie.  Her world-building is superior and I love how she fleshed out the minor characters- it allowed me to feel like I was a member of The Society, too.   While the story sometimes seems to move slow, it is all worth it in the end.  Condie masterfully weaves the Society, its rules, and its rulers into a scarily realistic possibility for humanity’s future.  Do not miss out on this one!

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

I have been on a dystopian kick lately, so I was very happy when I cleaned out a bookshelf and found a forgotten ARC for this novel. Birthmarked is Caragh M. O’Brien’s first novel for young adults and she has hit it out of the park. I read a lot of dystopian, and I’ve read a lot lately, and this has quickly risen to the top of my favorite’s list. It had me on the edge of my seat throughout the story and left me guessing at many turns.

Gaia is a midwife, like her mother, though she is still in training. When the book opens, she is delivering her first newborn without her mother’s assistance. All is well until she must take the infant from its mother. The Enclave, within the nearby city walls, demands a quota of babies each month- the first 3 delivered by each midwife. The babies are taken from their parents outside the walls and brought to the Enclave, where they are adopted by the wealthy families inside and brought up as their own. Gaia has never questioned this routine. Then, her parents are mysteriously arrested and taken away. She must break into the walled Enclave in order to rescue her parents and soon finds herself wrapped up in secrets and lies that no one has ever considered. As the story rises, the imperfections of a “perfect” race and the dangers of and genetic manipulation becomes more and more engrossing. Gaia is forced to make difficult choices to save herself and her loved ones.

I couldn’t put this down.  Gaia is a realistic character whom I felt like I knew.  Her thoughts and emotions were so real that I found myself completely wrapped up in her story.  She is forced to make heartwrenching decisions that led me to question some of my own thoughts.  I also loved the slight romance that she and one of the Guard captains find themselves involved in.  It’s not enough to turn off my macho readers but it’s just enough to rope in some of my romance readers.

Birthmarked would be a great read along with The Giver or during a study of the Holocaust. The Enclave’s quest for genetic perfection brings up some unintended consequences beyond the obvious. Birthmarked will also lead to some great discussions. Highly recommended for middle school and high school classrooms!

Note- my cover looks nothing like the current cover.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the ARC cover and the new one is much better!

*ARC courtesy of the publisher

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude

In 2067, a virus struck the earth.  Killing 97% of the male population meant women were forced to take over the world.  Thirty years later, Kellen is a teenage boy in a world full of women.  The supervirus, Elisha’s Bear, has periodically reared its ugly head again and again over the past 30 years killing men who live in outback towns and small loner communities.   The world is better off than it was before Elisha’s Bear- no war, crime is al at all-time low, and women are strong and confident.  Kellen has resigned himself to his limited future as a male when he eavesdrops on his mother, who happens to be a high-ranking member of the Population Apportionment Council.  She and her boss are plotting a new outbreak of the virus aimed toward a community of “throwbacks” (loner men).  The problem?  That community includes Kellen’s father. With two new female friends, Kellen manages to escape to warn his dad.  iIn the process, he uncovers the shocking truth behind Elisha’s Bear.

Epitaph Road was a great book to read after The Giver and Unwind. It’s not as strong as the aforementioned books, but I really enjoyed it. One of my favorite parts of the book were the epitaphs that begin each chapter. Many of them left me wanting to know more about the men they were dedicated to. Some of them were haunting.

I immediately fell into the book while reading the prologue. After that, it seemed to slow down a bit. I was left wanting more until Kellen escaped from Seattle and managed to find his father. At that point, I couldn’t put the book down! The novel raises a lot of gender questions that could lead to some great debates. I could imagine my own students defending the choices made by certain characters while condemning those made by other characters.

I am happy to report this is a book that will appeal to boys and girls alike. The protagonist is male but the two supporting characters are female. It’s full of adventure and has a touch of romance- enough to tantalize some readers but not enough to send others running for the hills. Patneaude seems to have the ending open for a sequel so I look forward to that. I can see this being very popular with my students, most of whom are in a dystopian phase.

*Review copy courtesy of publisher

If you liked The Giver, then try…..

Thank you for all your suggestions of dystopian literature!  I added many of your suggestions to my wishlist.  Below is the handout I gave my students after we read Lois Lowry’s The Giver.

If you liked The Giver then try…..

The companion novels: Gathering Blue and The Messenger by Lois Lowry

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Candor by Pam Bachorz
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfield
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
  • The Other Side of the Island
  • Life As We Knew It (and the rest of the Moon series) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • House of the Scorpion
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Healing Wars by Janice Hardy
  • Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
  • 1984 or Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Ear, The Eye, and The Arm by Nancy Farmer
  • White Mountains by John Christopher
  • The Maze Runner by James Dasher
  • City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Declaration by Gemma Malley
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman

After passing this list out, many of my students started highlighting the books they want to read.  It was wonderful to watch!

Dystopian Literature and Tweens

As teachers, it is difficult not to share our passions with our students.  Obviously, books and writing are a passion of mine (along with monarch butterflies).  However, my students know that all books are not created equal in my eyes.  No sirree- show me a dystopian novel and I’ll show you a book I can’t put down.  Needless to say, our unit surrounding The Giver is always one of my favorites.  Today my students wrote in-class short essays comparing the themes in The Giver to those in a dystopian short story.   (Old Glory by Bruce Coville, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., or All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury).  They chose one of our 5 essential questions to answer and had to use examples from both pieces of literature to back up their opinions.  I am so proud of the thinking and writing they did!

After they completed their work, I rewarded them by handing out a list of dystopian books.  Sort of “If you like The Giver, then you will love….”  I listed about 15 dystopian novels and they were thrilled.  I will share the list on the blog tomorrow, but for now I am looking for your suggestions.  My students exhausted my collection of dystopian novels, so I need more ideas!  What are some of your favorite dystopian tween or YA novels?