by Hannah Miller and Jamie Walters
The Hunger Games, a young adult dystopian piece of fiction, was first published in 2008 and is a #1 New York Times Bestseller. It is the first of a trilogy telling the story of Panem and its narrator, Katniss Everdeen.
Katniss is a sixteen-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When her sister is chosen by lottery, Katniss steps up to go in her place. (www.suzannecollinsbooks.com)
The Capitol and the Game Makers, who rather enjoy watching twenty-four children kill each other on what is essentially reality TV, require the Districts to treat the Games as a festivity, a sporting event. The last Tribute alive receives a life of ease back home and their District receives gifts of grain, oil and sugar for a year. Throughout the story of The Hunger Games, an air of rebellion and uprising develops, however, it is the subsequent books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, that flesh out these ideas.
The film adaptation was released March 23, 2012.
Download a PDF of The Hunger Games Book Talk.