The Hunger Games. By Suzanne Collins. (2008). New York: Scholastic Press.ISBN-10: 0439023483.

Plot Summary

In a world where the wealthy Capitol lives in excess, and dictates the lives of 12 poorer districts, a game is played every year. A game which requires the submission of two teenagers from each district, who are forced to participate in a fight to the death. This is the story of Katniss Everdeen, who has kept her starving family alive after the death of her father using hunting and trading skills.  But does she have what it takes to make it through The Hunger Games alive?

Critical Evaluation

With the power of an unraveling sweater that just can’t be stopped, or perhaps a runaway train, The Hunger Games is one of those books that no reader can set aside for very long. The characters, plot, setting, and society described, work together in an effortless tapestry woven by Suzanne Collins. Unlike many popular young adult novels, each and every motivation in The Hunger Games is crystal clear, from the protagonist Katniss, to the selfish and cruel Capitol. The book is entertaining but it is also horrific and thought-provoking.
Reader’s Annotation

Everything that Katniss Everdeen has ever done was for the sake of her family. Now, she will enter The Hunger Games for that same reason, a game which is a fight to the death.
About the Author

“Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/​Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.
She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.”

http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com
Genre

-Science Fiction
Curriculum Ties

-History and Current Events

-Roman Gladiators

-Child Soldiers

-Media Studies

Booktalking Ideas

-Soldiers trained to fight versus fighting for survival

-Science Fiction novels about futuristic dystopias
Reading Level/Interest Age

Ages 14-18+
Challenge Issues

This title was challenged recently by the parent of an 11 year old girl who had nightmares after reading the book in her classroom. The complaint was that the game itself was “sick,” and that the violence in the novel would desensitize students(Barack, 2010). The main complaint of this particular parent is actually something that Suzanne Collins would agree with: that the games are sick. The next two books in the trilogy reveal the struggles of life in the 12 districts, even after one tribute wins The Hunger Games. The goal of the novels is not to glorify these types of gladiator games, but to bring to attention their existence in our history, and the danger of current practices such as reality television shows which find entertainment value in the misfortune, stress, and embarrassment of players. Another thing that Collins might agree with is that perhaps the school was in the wrong in teaching this particular novel to 11-year-olds. It is not classified as a middle grade book, but a book for older teens. (Suzanne Collins actually has a fantasy series called Gregor the Overlander whose protagonists are 11-years-old themselves. This would be a more appropriate choice for that grade level.) Still, The Hunger Games has great merit despite the violence depicted in the book, (which is on the same level as some video games,) and it could quite possibly be used in high school curriculums in order to support teaching current events, media, and history. This series is more than an excellent choice for reluctant readers, who just may find themselves lost inside the world of Panem.

Barack, L. (2010). New Hampshire parent challenges “The Hunger Games.” School Library Journal. Retrieved on December 10th, 2010 from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/newslettersnewsletterbucketextrahelping/887280-443/new_hampshire_parent_challenges_the.html.csp.
Why Did You Include This Book?

#1 New York Times Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller

A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
A Horn Book Fanfare
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2008
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2008
A Booklist Editors’ Choice
A New York Times Notable Book of 2008
A Kirkus Best Book of 2008

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

Retrieved on December 10th, 2010 from http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/hungergames.

Best Books: 

Amazon Editors’ Picks: Top 10 Books, 2008 ; United States
Amelia Bloomer Project, 2009 ; ALA Social Responsiblities Round Table (SRRT); United States
Booklist Best Books for Young Adults, 2009 ; American Library Association; United States
Booklist Book Review Stars , Sep. 1, 2008 ; United States
Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2008 ; American Library Association; United States
Capitol Choices, 2009 ; The Capitol Choices Committee; United States
Choices, 2009 ; Cooperative Children’s Book Center; United States
Horn Book Fanfare, 2008 ; Horn Book; United States
Notable Children’s Books, 2008 ; New York Times; United States
Notable Children’s Books, 2009 ; ALSC American Library Association; United States
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books, 2008 ; Publishers Weekly; United States
Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, November 3, 2008 ; Cahners; United States
School Library Journal Best Books, 2008 ; Cahners; United States
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, September 2008 ; Cahners; United States
Stuff for the Teen Age, 2009 ; New York Public Library; United States
Top 10 SF/Fantasy for Youth, 2009 ; American Library Association; United States
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2009 ; American Library Association; United States
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2009 ; American Library Association; United States
YALSA Teens’ Top Ten, 2009 ; American Library Association; United States
YALSA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, 2009 ; American Library Association; United States
Awards, Honors, Prizes: 

Children’s Choice Book Award, 2009 Finalist Teen Choice Book Award United States
Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2010 Winner Colorado United States
Cuffies: Children’s Booksellers Choose Their Favorite (and not-so-favorite) Books of the Year, 2008 Winner Best Novel for Young Readers That Adults Would Love If They Knew About It United States
Cuffies: Children’s Booksellers Choose Their Favorite (and not-so-favorite) Books of the Year, 2008 Winner Book With Best Plot twist United States
Cuffies: Children’s Booksellers Choose Their Favorite (and not-so-favorite) Books of the Year, 2008 Winner Favorite Novel of the Year United States
Cybil Award, 2008 Winner Fantasy and Science Fiction (Young Adult) United States
Golden Duck Award for Excellence in Children’s Science Fiction Literature, 2009 Winner Hal Clement Award for Young Adults United States
Indies Choice Book Award, 2009 Honor Book Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book United States
Indigo Teen Read Award, 2010 Nominee Best All-Time Fave Canada
Mind the Gap Award, 2009 Best series opener United States
Red House Children’s Book Award, 2010 Overall Winner Older Readers United Kingdom
School Library Journal Battle of the (Kids’) Books, 2009 Gold Medal United States
Silver Inky, 2009 Winner
Thumbs Up! Award, 2009 Winner Michigan United States
State and Provincial Reading Lists: 

Battle of the Books, 2009-2010 ; Nominee; Middle School; New Mexico
Beehive Award, 2010 ; Nominee; Young Adults’ Books; Utah
Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2010 ; Nominee; Colorado
Delaware Diamonds, 2009-2010 ; Nominee; Middle School; Delaware
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award, 2009-2010 ; Master List; Vermont
Florida Teens Read, 2009-2010 ; Nominee; Florida
Kentucky Bluegrass Award, 2010 ; Nominee; Grades 9-12; Kentucky
Lone Star Reading List, 2009 ; Texas
Nevada Young Readers’ Award, 2010 ; Nominee; Young Adult; Nevada
North Carolina Young Adult Book Award, 2009-2010 ; Booklist; Middle School; North Carolina
Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award, 2009-2010 ; Nominee; Young Adult; Pennsylvania
Soaring Eagle Book Award, 2009-2010 ; Nominee; Grades 7-12; Wyoming
Tayshas High School Reading List, 2009 ; Texas
Volunteer State Book Award, 2010-2011 ; Nominee; Grades 7-12; Tennessee
West Australian Young Readers’ Book Award (WAYRBA), 2009 ; Reading List; Older Reader; Australia
Wisconsin Battle of the Books, 2009-2010 ; Senior; Wisconsin
Young Adult Book Award, 2009-2010 ; Nominee; Pennsylvania
 

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About thesuperlibrarian

High School Librarian and obsessive reader! On a mission to read as many SUPER YA books as possible!
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