7 Books That Have Defined This Generation ...

Since the late '80s until now, countless books that have defined this generation have been published. In some way or another, all literature influences society, whether for better or for worse. All of these books that have defined this generation are certainly worth the read after considering the colossal impact they’ve had on today’s youth- the “millennial generation.”

1. Heather Has Two Mommies- 1989

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Heather Has Two Mommies is certainly among the list of influential books that have defined this generation. This children’s book was the first to ever feature a same sex couple. It’s only natural to attribute the millennial generation’s increased tolerance of different sexual orientations partially to this book. Even if you didn’t read it, you were probably still influenced by it in some fashion.

2. Oh the Places You’ll Go- 1990

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What would childhood have been without Dr. Seuss? He was probably the most influential writer for this generation, until about ages eight and nine. Dr. Seuss’s book Oh the Places You’ll Go convinced this generation that dreaming big was not a waste of time. Partially because of this book, teens and young adults pursue dreams of unforeseen heights and have an adventurous mindset unique from past generations.

3. The Giver- 1993

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I would credit the recent dystopian-themed craze to The Giver, by Louis Lowry. Many teens probably read it during elementary school or middle school, and it initially sparked our fascination with the distant future. The Giver introduced millennials to the theme of individuality vs. conformity, which eventually became a popular theme and struggle within the culture.

4. Harry Potter- 1997

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Harry Potter practically became a religion for many millennials. If you grew up during the early 2000s, you either read the books, watched the movies, or at the very least heard all of the buzz. There was no way to escape the wave of Potterheads that rose after the first of seven books was published in 1997. The series changed the world, and caused a new generation of readers to rise up and buy the books, just when people were beginning to think the book industry was dying.

5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- 2005

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This generation has grown up in a post- 9/11 world, which is vastly different to the years preceding the tragedy. Security and privacy now have different definitions, and the millennial generation will never know the world their parents knew. A novel that helped define the post-9/11 world through the eyes of a child is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

6. Twilight- 2005

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Twilight is what taught this generation that all publicity is good publicity. Twilight received a staggering amount of negative feedback, but that didn’t stop it from taking the world by storm. The more people Twilight-bashed, the more people were curious enough to buy the books. Additionally, there was no shortage of die-hard Twi-hearts, who wouldn’t miss a single midnight premiere! Twlight is arguably the reason a supernatural craze swept the globe, with shows such as Being Human, Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries, and others like them increasing in popularity.

7. Hunger Games- 2008

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Recently, The Hunger Games series has become exponentially popular, and received an overwhelming positive response from readers around the world. The Hunger Games followed in The Giver’s footsteps, as it was another dystopian trilogy. However, Katniss Everdeen is the main character in The Hunger Games, championing courageous women and promoting female independence.

No matter what new technologies come along, books will always have a place in society. Every generation needs a book or two to help define them. Which other novels or series do you think have helped define this generation?

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