Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Hunger Games - Book Review

** I am currently taking a Young Adult literature course and I will be reading and reviewing several materials using a new format. This review follows a template given to me by my professor.**



Publication Information


Name: Christopher Jimenez Media Format: Audio (Audio-book)
Title: The Hunger Games Genre: Dystopia, Political satire, Romance 
Author: Suzanne Collins Selection Source: 2008 Booklist Editor's Choice (Youth)
Publisher: Scholastic Press Recommended Audience Age: 12-18
Reading Recommendation: 4 out of 5
Curriculum Connections: Politics, Leisure, History, Economics

Review

After the collapse of the United States of America, the land is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol in a new nation called Panem. This society's form of entertainment hearkens back to the Roman Colosseum in the form of The Hunger Games. During these games, two representatives (male and female) are selected to represent each district in a "last man standing" game of survival and government-sanctioned murder. Prim is the female candidate from district 12, though Katniss—Prim's older sister—volunteers to compete in her sister's place. The reader experiences all the emotions involved in being forced to play such a primitive game.

Romance is introduced into this story by the male representative from district 12, Peeta, who reveals that he has been in love with Katniss since the day he met her. Their relationship develops in the arena, and climaxes when they are the final two competitors in the game.

This novel has earned the following distinctions:

Evaluation

This title is well written and the premise is entertaining. However, this premise (children killing eat other) is also the source of negative public reaction. Censors could find plenty of objectionable material in this novel, which is why it is recommended for High School-level readers. The objectionable content comes in the form of violence and gore as children are impaled, mauled and otherwise killed in graphic detail.

Objections notwithstanding, this book also teaches self-sacrifice, cooperation, and serves as a political satire. This title could also be used to illustrate how economics work as each district is known for a particular industry, district 12 being known for the production of coal. A discussion on free speech could also factor in, as the citizens of Panem do not have the freedom to resist anything the government does.

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