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The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)by Suzanne Collins
Destined for widespread popularity and quite possibly a little controversy, this post-apocalyptic tale about teenagers who fight to the death to help feed their families is so riveting and heartbreaking, I ceased all essential functions until I finished it.
"As a bibliophile who is fondly interested in young adult literature, I found The Hunger Games to be one of the best books I've read, regardless of its difficult content. As an extremely thought-provoking piece of literature, I hope this book will be added to English curriculums across the country, sparking conversations about subjects such as war, poverty, and death. Collins raises the intellectual bar, while empowering young adults with tools to instigate their own opinions and ideas." Sarah Miller, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.
"Signature Reviewed by Megan Whalen Turner If there really are only seven original plots in the world, it's odd that 'boy meets girl' is always mentioned, and 'society goes bad and attacks the good guy' never is. Yet we have Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, The House of the Scorpion — and now, following a long tradition of Brave New Worlds, The Hunger Games. Collins hasn't tied her future to a specific date, or weighted it down with too much finger wagging. Rather less 1984 and rather more Death Race 2000, hers is a gripping story set in a postapocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death. Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, she is entirely focused on survival at any cost. It is her teammate, Peeta, who recognizes the importance of holding on to one's humanity in such inhuman circumstances. It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likable. She has the attributes to be a winner, where Peeta has the grace to be a good loser. It's no accident that these games are presented as pop culture. Every generation projects its fear: runaway science, communism, overpopulation, nuclear wars and, now, reality TV. The State of Panem — which needs to keep its tributaries subdued and its citizens complacent — may have created the Games, but mindless television is the real danger, the means by which society pacifies its citizens and punishes those who fail to conform. Will its connection to reality TV, ubiquitous today, date the book? It might, but for now, it makes this the right book at the right time. What happens if we choose entertainment over humanity? In Collins's world, we'll be obsessed with grooming, we'll talk funny, and all our sentences will end with the same rise as questions. When Katniss is sent to stylists to be made more telegenic before she competes, she stands naked in front of them, strangely unembarrassed. 'They're so unlike people that I'm no more self-conscious than if a trio of oddly colored birds were pecking around my feet,' she thinks. In order not to hate these creatures who are sending her to her death, she imagines them as pets. It isn't just the contestants who risk the loss of their humanity. It is all who watch. Katniss struggles to win not only the Games but the inherent contest for audience approval. Because this is the first book in a series, not everything is resolved, and what is left unanswered is the central question. Has she sacrificed too much? We know what she has given up to survive, but not whether the price was too high. Readers will wait eagerly to learn more. Megan Whalen Turner is the author of the Newbery Honor book The Thief and its sequels, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
To punish rebellious citizens, the government of a future dystopia strikes at their children. Selected by lottery, 24 young people must participate each year in a televised survival game. Similar to Roman gladiators, they enter a large outdoor arena — and must hide, hunt and fight until one victor emerges. "The Hunger Games" focuses on one character's struggle to maintain her humanity... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) under such brutal conditions. When her younger sister is chosen, Katniss Everdeen, a skilled hunter, takes her place. But when Katniss publicly mourns the death of a fellow contestant and bonds with another to trick the government, she angers the powers that be. She must continue to play her part carefully or jeopardize her life and those of her loved ones. This gripping tale explores ever-timely topics — violence-as-entertainment and rule-by-intimidation — and through Katniss holds out the possibility of change. Children's author Mary Quattlebaum teaches classes in writing for children, blogs on nature-themed kids' books for the National Wildlife Federation and reviews regularly for The Washington Post Book World. Reviewed by Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"[A] violent, jarring speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense....Collins is an efficient no-nonsense prose stylist with a pleasantly dry sense of humor. (Grade: B)" Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
"[A] grand-opening salvo....Populated by three-dimensional characters, this is a superb tale of physical adventure, political suspense, and romance." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Impressive world-building, breathtaking action and clear philosophical concerns make this volume, the beginning of a planned trilogy, as good as The Giver and more exciting." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] thrilling adventure that will appeal to science fiction, survival, and adventure readers. The suspense of this powerful novel will keep the reader glued to the page long after bedtime." VOYA
"Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing." School Library Journal
The acclaimed author of the New York Times-bestselling Underland Chronicles series delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in a stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to the present.
In Lois Lowrys Newbery Medal-winning classic, twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
Now in paperback, the book no one can stop talking about . . .
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.
About the Author
Suzanne Collins's debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in the Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. The series has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous accolades. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.
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