Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The United States as we know it no longer exists. In its place stand 13 districts. Each year two names are drawn from each district, one girl, one boy, between the ages 12-18 to compete in a gladiator-type contest to the death. It is broadcast live on television for all to see. A gruesome reminder of the hungry times, in hopes that it will never happen again. The games takes place, ironically, in the prosperous Capitol, lead by President Snow.

From bleak district 12, Katniss and sister Prim are fatherless after an explosion in the mines. The sisters' mother has a break down, which Katniss can't, or won't, forgive. Katniss and her best friend Gale hunt in the forbidden woods to put food on the table for their families and trade in the black market. Horror strikes the family again as they hear young Prim's name drawn for the Hunger Games. Katniss immediately volunteers to replace her. Peeta, the baker's son, is the chosen boy. Soon, they are sent off to train and prepare for the Hunger Games, each knowing that only one can come out alive.

It's been a long time since I've gobbled up a trilogy this fast. My hubby has the fever and is now finishing the last book. My angst was so great, that I wrote sticky notes to let him know how I was feeling on certain pages. Many, many times I wanted to turn to the last page and end my torture. But I persevered. I made it.

Suzanne Collins has written, perhaps, the book that will entice girls to read a fantasy genre without vampires. And once the boys discover it, they will be racing to tell their friends, too. But kids aren't the only ones reading these fast paced, well written books, as I've witnessed adults raving and sharing.

Rumors for the movie are already circulating, realizing we are late in discovering the tomes. The young female star from True Grit, Hailee Steinfeld, is one of the favorites to play Katniss.

Ms. Collins never sugar coats, yet elegantly, showing us the brutal horrors of war, while we, as the reader, can do nothing but watch it unfold and marvel at her story telling. Nothing in these books is predictable, none of it is easy. If you start this series, be sure to have all three books handy. Trust me. 1 THE HUNGER GAMES 2 CATCHING FIRE 3 MOCKINGJAY


  1. I think you're 100% right about how well this series can act as a gateway that exposes young women to the excitement of traditionally-male genres. But Collins doesn't just force a teen romance into a dystopian setting; rather I she makes her book a critique of the the genres she's invoking. (A few weeks back, I wrote a post on this subject, which you might get a kick out of: Now let's just hope the movie doesn't screw it up.

  2. Thanks for commenting Jonathan, I found you through Twitter and am glad! I read you blog post and agree with you. Without giving any spoilers here, I liked the way she ended the book. No fluff, very simply, and VERY real. I wrote this back in January and now my 5th graders are begging for these books. I made sure I bought a ton of copies with our book fair money. Just finished GREGOR THE OVERLANDER and enjoyed it. I also follow THE HOB on Twitter and they are very excited about the actress picked for Katniss. I will, of course, go see the movie, movies are a passion of mine as well, but I really don't know if they'll be able to pull it off. So many great books out there with such horrible movies. ERAGON comes to mind immediately, as does Percy Jackson. Sigh...