Let Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen Guide You Through the World of YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy

So, we have to assume that you know what The Hunger Games is, considering all of our commentary on the books and movie franchise. And you almost definitely wouldn’t be on this website if you’d never heard of Harry Potter. But the world of sci-fi and fantasy YA is ever-expanding (not unlike Aunt Marge or, um, a tribute who got stung by one too many tracker jackers), and it’s impossible to know every single book out there. Enter the brilliant ladies at Bookish (full disclosure: my former coworkers), who put together a comprehensive and fun flowchart using The Hunger Games and Harry Potter as shorthand.

It makes sense that these two series would act as doorways: Almost twenty years ago, J.K. Rowling changed children’s literature and fantasy, both in terms of form and content; a decade after her, Suzanne Collins helped birth the current crop of dystopian YA fiction, setting adolescent issues against world-changing stakes. Katniss Everdeen has sparked debates about unlikeable female protagonists; current YA heroines are favorably (or perhaps unfavorably) compared to her. Rather than freeze the wizarding world after her final Harry Potter book, Rowling has filled in every corner with new tidbits and characters; The Boy Who Lived himself returns in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this year.

But no two readers of either series are alike—drawn to different elements—and so each of you will find different starting points in this flowchart. Tell Bookish your arena weapon of choice or your favorite extracurricular Hogwarts activity, and next thing you know, you’ll be like Harry, Ron, and Hermione tracking down Horcruxes—except in this case you’re not destroying artifacts but collecting new books to read! You’d be surprised to see which paths fork off into talk of iPhones, TARDISes, steampunk, fanfiction, or Russia, but it all makes sense.

Check out the flowchart at Bookish, and get reading this weekend!

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