HUNGER GAMES BOOK DISCUSSION, WED. MAY 8TH @ 4:30 – Come get a copy of the book and start reading this page turner!

“The Hunger Games (2008) is the first book of the wildly popular trilogy of young adult novels from author Suzanne Collins. The series is set in the country of Panem, a post-apocalyptic version of North America. Every year the government in the Capitol organizes an event known as the Hunger Games: a bloody, gladiator-style fight-to-the-death battle between 24 randomly-selected teenagers from the oppressed Districts of Panem. To top it all off, the carnage is broadcast live on television – as entertainment for the residents of the Capitol and a reminder to the residents of the Districts of the totalitarian government’s ultimate power.

With all the violence and gore and killing of people on live television, these books have been nothing less than a best-selling sensation. The second novel of the trilogy, Catching Fire, was published in 2009, while Mockingjay, the final installment of the series, was released in August of 2010. The books read like a fast-paced movie.

In the first book of the trilogy, The Hunger Games, we meet our heroine and protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. An experienced hunter, Katniss is a killer with a bow and arrow from District 12, a poor coal-mining region in the country of Panem. Katniss is a tough-as-nails survivor with a rebellious streak a mile wide (assets in the Hunger Games, needless to say.)

The other lead character we meet in the first book is Katniss’s co-tribute from District 12: the charming baker’s son, Peeta Mellark. Unlike Katniss, Peeta is a bit of a softy, is great at decorating cakes, and is very much infatuated with his co-tribute, Katniss. That’s, of course, where things get complicated: Katniss and Peeta begin to play up an on-camera romance between the two of them in order to win over the audiences at home and gain sponsors. While playing star-crossed lovers for the camera proves to be a powerful and effective strategy – what exactly happens when those cameras stop rolling? When the stakes are high as they are in The Hunger Games, it’s difficult to tell what’s real and what’s not.

The Hunger Games is a thrilling mash-up of great dystopian novels like 1984 or Brave New World and the current reality television scene. Think George Orwell meets Survivor and hangs out with Gladiator. According to author Suzanne Collins, she “was channel surfing between reality TV programming and actual war coverage” when she got the idea for the story (source). We believe it. Bringing to the fore issues such as power, identity, celebrity, and politics, the novel manages to comment on both the dangers of totalitarian government and the perils of living in a celebrity-obsessed culture where reality shows make entertainment out of the grist of everyday lives.”    – Schmoop Study Guide

“The Hunger Games has received several accolades and honors. Not only was it named “Notable Children’s Book of 2008” by The New York Times, but it was also named one of the “Best Books of the Year” by Publisher’s Weekly. The novel received the Golden Duck Award in the Young Adult Fiction category in 2009. The Hunger Games was the 2008 Cybil winner for the genre of fantasy and science fiction along with Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, as well as the Booklist Editor’s Choice in the same year.”