Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Hunger Games

Collins, S. (2008). The hunger games. New York, Scholastic.

Reading this book just confirms my belief that writers of fantasy are some of the smartest people in the world. After the Giver, I think this is my newest favorite modern fantasy work.

We read about an evil nation that sponsors yearly Hunger Games, where two youth from 12 different districts in the land are chosen to compete against one another to the death using survival skills and some little help from the outside sponsors. Katniss and Peeta are chosen from District 12, the Coal District, and are the chief focus of the story.

Before I read it, I wasn't sure what genre it was - with all the reality TV and survivor stuff, I thought it might be realistic fiction. However, the un-real world facets, like a new Nation of controlling government (way more than ours is now), birds who can communicate with people, metal wasps with lethal stings, and condoned killing in a structured game (although this brings gladiator Rome to mind) - all these and more creative ideas made this definitely fantasy. I see now that it is part of a trilogy and can't wait to read the other two books.

Katniss, the protagonist, learned a lot about how her choices created consequences, but still had the individual presence of mind to be defiant to an evil government. We know almost as much about Peeta, also a very round character. I was touched by his care for others and his love of beauty, and and torn about rooting for him over Gale for Katniss' affections when they arrive home to District 12 (OUR district - the Appalachians). Excuse me while I go re-read this to see what other things I missed the first time through!!

I want to share some BIG questions from Suzanne Bridwell posted in her reflections.

Have you ever put the needs of someone else before your own needs?

Would you still do something even though it was dangerous if it meant helping another person?     

Tell me about a time you were terrified to do something but felt so much stronger after you accomplished the task.  

Has there ever been a time that you felt very lonely but you were not alone?

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