Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Sixteen-year-old Katniss is a survivor, but she might not be able to survive this. 

In this world of the future, the capitol of the U.S. is a place called Panem – a place completely immersed in intense entertainment and ridiculous high fashion. In the rest of the districts, most of the people forage and scramble not to starve to death. Ruling with a wicked iron fist, Panem controls all of the districts by putting on the annual Hunger Games, a reality television show in which two kids are plucked from each district to battle each other in a brutal fight to the death. Only one can live.

Volunteering in her sister’s place, Katniss will fight, and probably die, in this year’s games.

Intense and brutal at times, the teens in the games must outthink the game-master’s and other opponents. The political background bolsters an action-packed story about power and control. Though she wants to live, Katniss struggles to maintain her humanity.

Last year, I’d picked this book up and, unwilling to delve into this depressing world, put it down. This year, a student begged me to give it another try – by the time they were on the train, I was hooked. It’s almost impossible NOT to finish this book in a day. A serious page-turner.

Bibliotherapeutic value: Hunger Games is a story about toughness, resiliency, and fostering one’s strengths. It’s a survival story about staying strong even when faced with abysmal odds.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008.

ISBN: 978-0439023481. $17.99.

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