Monday, November 18, 2013

The Hunger Games

Thanks to Kyra Tucker for a book talk with a gripping beginning quote. Audio book talk is read too fast, however.
Collins, S. (2008). The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press.
“Nervousness seeps into terror as I anticipate what is to come. I could be dead, flat-out dead, in an hour. “
These are the thoughts of 16 year-old Katniss Everdeen as she prepares to enter the arena for the 74th Annual Hunger Games of Panem. It is on the continent that used to be called North America that the country of Panem exists. From the ruins of North America, a once strong nation that was destroyed by natural disaster, deep political strife, war, and economic failure, rose an authoritarian Capitol and 13 dependent districts.
 When the districts revolted against the Capitol, 12 were defeated and the 13th was obliterated. From this rebellion, the Hunger Games were designed to remind and restrain the 12 remaining districts of the futility in fighting the Capitol. Annually each of the districts must draw the name of a young boy and a young girl to send to the arena to fight to the death until one victor remains. This is a reminder of the Capitol’s dominance and control and the districts’ weakness and reliance. The annual event, which is reminiscent of the gladiator arenas of Ancient Rome, is televised and all of Panem is required to watch. The 12 districts are condemned to watch their children follow the one rule of the Hunger Games: To kill and be killed.
The Hunger Games have become a yearly event of ritual, punishment, and imminent death. Winning means fame and fortune for the victor and food for their home district. Losing means certain death.  Only one of the 24 tributes can survive. Katniss, a poor girl from the coal-mining district 12, is certain she will not be the survivor when she volunteers in her 12 year-old sister’s place on reaping day. When her male counter-part is called to the stage to stand next to her, Katniss knows that he too will not live to see victory. Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son, is privileged and hasn’t had the experience of fighting for life like Katniss has. The two districts 12 tributes have a history that makes Katniss feel in debt to Peeta and she quickly realizes that her efforts to keep Peeta alive in the arena will be just as important as protecting her own life.
 How will Katniss handle the conflict of choosing between her life and Peeta’s life? How will Katniss be able to protect Peeta and herself when pitted against 22 other enemies seeking blood and the constant hurdles of the arena, such as thirst, hunger, and the wiles of the Gamemakers? Who will become the lone victor of the 74th Hunger Games? Find out by reading The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.
Hear my book talk here:

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