The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins. Scholastic Press, c2008. 384 pages.
Plot: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is narrated by sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen. Katniss lives in the twelfth district of the post-apocalyptic country of Panem. Panem is controlled by a powerful government working within the country’s Capitol. Every year, as punishment for a past rebellion initiated by the now defuct District 13, the Capitol hosts the Hunger Games. One boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district is chosen at random to fight to the death as “tributes” in the annual battle. When Katniss’ younger sister Prim is chosen to participate in the 74th games, Katniss volunteers to take her place.
Review/personal thoughts: Though initially skeptical, I loved The Hunger Games! The post-apocalyptic country of Panem (standing where North America once stood) introduced by Collins was a fun deviation from reality, allowing readers a glimpse at a strange new world. This invitation to escape your normal existence is not only one of the things I love most about reading, but also one of the things I believe tweens will appreciate about the novel. Also, many critics have noted the “addictive” quality of The Hunger Games series, and I believe that addictive stories like these will get reluctant tweens reading!
Genre: science fiction
Reading level/interest level: ages 12 & up
Similar titles: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone