The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 384

For Ages: 12 and up

Rating: ****

 

 

Panem – a post-apocalyptic North America ruled by oligarchy – hosts a yearly TV reality show death match between 24 teenagers called “The Hunger Games” as a way to keep its’ citizens in line. To spare her beloved younger sister, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers for the Hunger Games. The hunting skills she learned to keep her sister and mother alive after her father died in a coal mining accident should give her a chance at being the sole survivor. What Katniss isn’t counting on is an opponent like Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son, whose kindness once saved her and her sister from starvation. Suddenly the Hunger Games are more than a simple death match Katniss must survive.

 

I was riveted by this story even though the actual games don’t start until over a 100 pages into the book. Collins’ Panem is a living, breathing post-apocalyptic dictatorship where the leaders use reality TV as effectively as the Romans used the Gladiators. Tough minded, skillful Katniss is a likable protagonist for boys, girls, women, and men to root for, and the story is an appealing mix of survival, dystopia, action, and a bit of romance.

 

Parent Note: While it really is a fight to the death between 24 teenagers, there is much less graphic violence then I thought there would be. Collins’ focuses on the emotional and psychological toll of this war more than gory details. 
 

February 2009: Inbrief

Quote:

“No, this is how it works

You peer inside yourself

You take the things you like and try to love the things you took

And then you take that love you made

And stick it into some…

Someone else’s heart, pumping someone else’s blood

And walking arm in arm

You hope it don’t get harmed

But even if it does

You just do it all again…”

 

From the song, “On the Radio,” by Regina Spektor

 

 

Highlights:

It was a weird month worthy of the Friday the thirteenth it possessed. I had an anaphylactic reaction to my allergy shot, there was a small fire at work, my computer got a nasty virus, and my kids suddenly started doing the normal teenagery stuff they’d never done before. Each and every weird event actually made the situation better in the long run, but the short run was a little more surreal than I like my life to be. At least things aren’t boring.

 

Fiction Books Finished:

Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (****)

Tattoo, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (***)

 

Non-Fiction Books Finished:

None, I’m in the middle of three books.

 

Movies:

None

 

TV- Top 5 Favorites of the Month (In A, B, C Order)

The Big Bang Theory
The Daily Show
Flight of the Conchords– exactly the type of humor my family loves: silly deadpan.
Fringe
Leverage

 

Sub Jobs:

1 day- media specialist

1 day- 2nd grade, Ms. W’s class

1 day- 2nd grade, Ms. D’s class

1 day- 2nd grade, Ms. W’s class

½ day- 2nd grade, Ms. S’s class