Genre: Science Fiction
# of Pages: 374 p.
RAC Book: Yes
This book, set in the future, follows a society in which every child ages 12-18 must be placed in a yearly drawing to “win” a chance to play in the hunger games. The hunger games is a fight to the death in a challenge filled arena for everyone to watch via television. Each district (12 in all) must send one boy and one girl to compete in the games. Of course, no one in the capitol has to fight in the games. Katniss lives in district 12 and takes care of her family by illegally hunting and gathering so that they do not starve. Her father was killed in a mine explosion and she feels it is up to her to take care of her mother and sister. Therefore, when her little sister’s name is called she knows she cannot let it happen and volunteers to take her place. Peeta, the boy chosen to go with her seems to have some strange ideas for winning the affections of the audience and Katniss is not sure whether or not he is being honest or a very good liar.
The hunger games has a similar feeling of government control as the Giver or Uglies, but these games are extremely violent and show no mercy to the children forced to play it. As Katniss tries to maneuver her way through this difficult game in order to survive, she must come to terms with the fact that if she wants to live others have to die. The conditions of the districts, Katniss’s in particular, show that this government has no problem withholding food or supplies if it means that there are no thoughts of rebellion among the citizens. At one point Katniss ponders what it would be like not to have to worry about starving every minute of every day. She wonders what those people must do with all that time. Some serious issues are discussed, but in a way that is exciting, suspenseful, and shocking. This one is definitely a page turner and one that could lead to some very good discussions.