Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love of reading.
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Middle school readersHigh school readers
9 stars

The Hunger Games

AR: 5.3
Lexile: 810
RC: 5.3
by Suzanne Collins
Normal-length Novel
Genre: Adventurous Fiction
Hunger Games #1

ALA Notable Book

Katniss Everdeen is a sixteen year old girl who lives in a bleak future world where every year two children are chosen to fight in a televised battle to the death. The bad news is she ends up being one of the competitors. The good news is... well, actually, there is no good news. 

This is a dark book, and I don't just mean the cover! This future world is a pretty sad, depressing, and grungy place. Even the district where Katniss comes from is literally black from the coal they are required to mine. Everything is so dark that when she journeys to the Capitol for the Hunger Games competition, the colors there burned my "virtual eyes" as I imagined the scenes unfolding in front of her. I actually found myself wincing from the colors first, then later from the brutality. This is not a pleasant story! The whole point of the Games is that twenty four kids kill each other until only one is left. 

In spite of the violence and miserable situations described in this story (or maybe because of them), this was one of those can't-put-it-down books. I don't want to say much more than I have already said. I don't want to give anything away. I will say, though, that this is an exciting start to a trilogy of books that looks very promising!

While the reading level is pretty low, I would definitely suggest this only for more mature readers. 

Read an online excerpt from The Hunger Games,

Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook version:

(Last modified:02/25/2012)


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