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The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. SignatureReviewed by Megan Whalen TurnerIf 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 , 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 , 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 .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. The next book in the series will be published by Greenwillow in 2010.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This is a grand-opening salvo in a new series by the author of the Underland Chronicles. Sixteen-year-old Katniss poaches food for her widowed mother and little sister from the forest outside the legal perimeter of District 12, the poorest of the dozen districts constituting Panem, the North American dystopic state that has replaced the U.S. in the not-too-distant future. Her hunting and tracking skills serve her well when she is then cast into the nation’s annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death where contestants must battle harsh terrain, artificially concocted weather conditions, and two teenaged contestants from each of Panem’s districts. District 12’s second “tribute” is Peeta, the baker’s son, who has been in love with Katniss since he was five. Each new plot twist ratchets up the tension, moving the story forward and keeping the reader on edge. Although Katniss may be skilled with a bow and arrow and adept at analyzing her opponents’ next moves, she has much to learn about personal sentiments, especially her own. Populated by three-dimensional characters, this is a superb tale of physical adventure, political suspense, and romance. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"{The Hunger Games} is a violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense... I couldn't stop reading." - Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly "I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading... The Hunger Games is amazing." - Stephenie Meyer "{B}rilliantly plotted and perfectly paced." - John Green, New York Times Book Review "{A} plot-driven blend of suspense, science fiction, and romance." - USA Today "Enthralling, imaginative and creepy." - Los Angeles Times "{A} superb tale" - Booklist, starred review "Readers will wait eagerly to learn more." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

Product Description

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlaying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one girl and one boy 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 also resolved to outwit the creators of the games. To do that she will have to be the last person standing at the end of the deadly ordeal, and that will take every ounce of strength and cunning she has.

About the Author

Suzanne Collins is the author of the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles series, which has more than one million books in print and is available in seven foreign editions. In the award-winning The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. The much-anticipated finale to The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, will be published on August 24th, 2010. Also a successful writer for children's television, Collins lives with her family in Connecticut. Visit her at www.suzannecollinsbooks.com.

From AudioFile

In this riveting dystopia story of a fascist United States, rebellious districts are punished by the government with the annual Reaping. Each district provides a child at the Reaping to fight to the death against the other districts' children in the Hunger Games, based on the Greek myth of Theseus. The story's heroine, Catniss, already hardened by a lifetime of poaching to feed her family's gulag existence, bravely fights to survive the televised, violent, and sickly voyeuristic games. Carolyn McCormick gives a detailed and attentive narration. However, she may rely too much on the strength of the prose without providing the drama young adult listeners often enjoy. That said, the production is a compelling choice for teen and fantasy listeners. K.C. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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