The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Wow! The Hunger Games is a page turner! It is a book that would be enjoyed by many older tweens. Because of the graphic violence portrayed, I would not recommend it for tweens under 12 or 13, but of course, it depends on the level of maturity of the reader and their ability to stomach violent images of teenagers killing each other.

Update, 2/26/12. My 6th grade daughter says that the upcoming movie is all she and her friends are talking about at school. A 20-something friend at work pulls me aside on our walks during break to discuss who will play various characters. We also discussed how various scenes will be portrayed in a PG-13 film. Another friend commented that what is classed a PG-13 film now would have been an R film not too many years ago. What do you think? Leave me a note.

I am very excited that it will be coming out as a movie in February, 2012. I watched the casting with interest. I am so happy that the young woman they have playing Katniss fits my mental image of what she should look like. Thank goodness they didn’t go with Megan Fox from Transformers.

In Collins’ book, she describes a future North America where all the wealth mostly resides in the Capitol while the 12 Districts toil, producing specialized products such as luxury goods, agricultural products and coal, mostly for the benefit of the Capitol. As a way to keep the population in control, they have devised an annual event, The Hunger Games. Like the gladiatorial combats of ancient Rome, two teenagers from each District are trained in a variety of weapons and pitted against one another to fight to the death in a giant arena, while every move is tracked and televised. The one survivor will be celebrated and allowed to return to their District to live in luxury for the rest of their life.

Katniss is sixteen and spends much of her time hunting with her friend Gale, bringing their game back to the Hob in her town to sell or trade on the black market. When the lottery draws her younger sister’s name, Kat steps forward to take her place in the Games, setting in motion the events that will call upon her to use her skills and wits. She also is called upon to soften the shell she has protected herself with after her father was killed in coal mine explosion. She is usually a tough, say what you mean kind of girl. Can she learn to be less impulsive and more politic for the sake of survival, to play a part that will please the t.v. viewers and keep her and her fellow District contestant alive? If you like the Survivor TV series, you will love this book.

I can hardly wait to read book 2 in the series. My son has already reserved a copy of book 3 which will be out in August. ISBN 13: 978-0-439-02348-1, 374 pages.


About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
This entry was posted in Movies, Quest Literature, Tween Literature and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  1. Mary ann says:

    Great review, the comment on violence will surely interest some readers. Connecting it to a popular media is also a nice touch.

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