The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I have a 16 year old son who doesn’t like to read. Wait, what? How can anyone NOT like to read? I LOVE reading, I always have. One of my very favorite parts about working downtown Seattle was that I got 45 glorious minutes (each way!) of reading time on the bus. My reading time has been cut drastically now that I no longer work downtown and my husband goes to bed way earlier than me so no reading in bed, either. Adjusting to my new schedule, I hadn’t read anything other than a magazine in months. Ok, so back to my son. I always figured he didn’t like reading because he never read a book he really liked that could draw him in. I asked a few kids his age, who do like reading, what all-time favorite book they would recommend and the consistent answer was “The Hunger Games”. I bought him the first book (its a trilogy) for Christmas on the pretext that if he read it, I would take him to see the movie (which comes out March 23). Well, the book sat on his dresser till a few days ago when I picked it up and thought I’d read it first so maybe I could encourage him to read it. Oh My Goodness! I Loved it with a capital “L”. I couldn’t put it down. The kids saw how engrossed I was and now they all want to read it! I ran out to the nearest book store and paid full-price for the second book. Full-price I said – that’s how much you know I love it; I don’t pay full-price for anything!
So here’s the story-line (without giving anything away)….the story is based in North America in the nation of Panem sometime in the future. Anyways, there are 12 Districts and a Capitol. The Capitol controls all the Districts. Some time in the past, District 13 rebelled against the Capitol and now no longer exists. To commemorate that rebellion and to remind the rest of the Districts who is in charge, each year the Capitol draws two children’s names, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18, from each District to participate in The Hunger Games. Those 24 children (known as Tributes) are taken to the Capitol where they are interviewed and “prepared” for The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are a brutal battle to the death between the Tributes until there is only one victor. In District 12, 12 year old Primrose Everdeen’s name is drawn. Knowing she’ll never survive, Primrose’s 16 year old sister, Katniss, volunteers to take her place, an almost certain death sentence for her as well. An accomplished hunter, Katniss must kill or be killed, choose humanity or survival. Does she survive? Does the boy Tribute from District 12 survive? You’ve got to read it to find out…just make sure you have the dishes and laundry done first, otherwise you won’t be getting to it for a while! (I know it is a strange premise for a story to have kids killing each other off, but the storyline is amazing.)
Book One: The Hunger Games
Book Two: Catching Fire
Book Three: The Mockingjay.