The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Book Info
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
©2008 Scholastic, New York, NY
ISBN 978-00439023481

Plot Summary
Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 with her mother and 12 year old sister Prim. The 12 districts make up the country of Panem, ruled by a powerful totalitarian government called the Capitol. Every year, the Capitol holds an event called the Hunger Games to remind the districts of its power. For these games, one young boy and girl from each district are chosen by a lottery to participate in the games and fight to the death, where only one can be victorious. When Prim’s name is drawn for participation in the Hunger Games, Katniss valiantly steps in to take her place. She must use her clever mind and strong skills in hunting to stay alive and hopefully defeat the 23 other participants. Follow Katniss on this brave and brutal journey to see if she can make it out alive and hopefully outsmart the cruel Capitol in the process.

Reader’s Annotation
It’s time again for the Hunger Games in the country of Panem, but when 12-year-old sister Prim is chosen to participate, her older sister Katniss steps in to take her place. Can Katniss survive this brutal death race?

Critical Evaluation
Suzanne Collins beautifully crafted a unique and incredibly thought provoking story. This corrupt future government and its sick ability to allow children to fight to the death is both shocking, and like an accident you can’t help but take a peek at. The violence is at time graphic, with teens essentially murdering their peers, but within the context of the games they have no choice. As pawns in the game, many participants become vicious, heartless beasts with little to no humanity left within them, but even with all the violence, the main character Katniss remains admirable in her struggle to survive. She doesn’t want to kill anyone, yet she doesn’t want to die herself and Collins clearly articulates how she manages to maintain clear and valiant morals throughout the violence and desperation she experiences in the games.

Information about the Author
Suzanne Collins started her career as a writer in 1991, but for children’s television shows. She contributed to a number of Nickelodeon 1990’s television favorites such as the emmy-nominated Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. While working on a show for Kids’ WB, Collins met children’s author James Proimos who served as her inspiration to break into the world of children’s literature. In 2003, her first book was published which became just the first book in The Underland Chronicles series, acting as an urban take on the pastoral classic Alice in Wonderland.

In 2008, Collins took a foray into young adult literature with the release of the first book in her trilogy, The Hunger Games. The series has become an overwhelming success, skyrocketing her fame and recognition as an author.

In her personal life, Collins holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU, and currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, two children and two adopted feral cats.

Visit the author’s website.

Fantasy, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic

Curriculum Ties

Booktalking Ideas
Discuss the kind of tribute you would be if you had been selected for the Hunger Games.

Discuss the relationship between Peeta and Katniss and how it evolved throughout the book.

Reading Level/ Interest Age

Challenge Issues

  • Graphic Violence

Defense options

  • Be aware of your library’s collection development policy.
  • Be familiar with the material in question, and the context of the questionable content.
  • Assert the principles of the ALA Library Bill of Rights, and standards of intellectual freedom.
  • Consult online book reviews, and others who have read the book.
    • The book does feature graphic violence, but it is integral to the larger story at play. Be able to understand and support its relevance.

Why Included?
The Hunger Games is one of the hottest books on the market right now, with a movie in the works. I had to see what all the hype was about, and I was not disappointed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: