The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a science fiction story, about an annual event between two districts that requires two participants to fight to the death in a televised battle. “Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death. In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: Kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps foward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.” The Hunger Games is narrated by the protagonist of the story, Katniss Everdeen. The story unfolds in the district of Panem, during the post-apocalyptic period. The district has a time-honoured tradition called the Hunger games. Two participants (a girl and a boy) are chosen via a lottery system from each district, to fight until death, in an area filled with forests, lakes, and mountain ranges. When her sister Primrose is chosen to participate in the game, Katniss adamantly volunteers to go in her place. The male competitor from District 12 is Peeta, the baker’s son. Both participants are taken to an area called the Capitol. The Capitol is a harsh and cruel place. They keep all the districts on edge by forcing them to send a girl and boy, between the ages of 12 to 18, to fight in the Hunger games. Once the contestants reach the Capitol, their coach Haymitch Abernathy, his assistant Effie, and their designer Cinna, work together to create a strategy for both players to enact in the battlefield. Katniss and Peeta have to behave like star-crossed lovers who couldn’t stand to inflict pain on each other. The goal is to create a memorable impression and gather extra sponsorship.
After weeks of preparation, Peeta and Katniss enter the Arena to fight. Here, it is important to remain alive, but Katniss cannot bear the thought of killing tributes and becoming a murderer. How can the star-crossed lovers defy the Capitol and still stay alive? In the end, both have to fight to stay alive, but will the Capitol ever agree to two victors instead of one? The publication of The Hunger Games has met with resounding success. In 2008, it was named as the “Best Books of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. The New York Times awarded it the “Notable Children’s Book of 2008”. In 2012, a movie based on the book was released, grossing over $152 million in the first week.
A Children’s Bookshelf Selection: Each month our editor’s pick the best books for children and young adults by age to be a part of the children’s bookshelf. These are editorial recommendations made by our team of experts. Our monthly reading list includes a mix of bestsellers and top new releases and evergreen books that will help enhance a child’s reading life.