Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hunger Games

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is truly one of the most amazing books I've ever read...and believe me I read a lot. This is the first book that ever caused me to write the publisher to let them know just how amazing the book was.

I had the great pleasure of attending a breakfast at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texs during the Texas Library Association annual conference this past April. This breakfast was put on by the good folks at Scholastic Books and featured 3 amazing YA authors reading from their newest works. This is where I first met Ms. Collins. Just as an aside, not only is she an amazing author, but she is a truly delightful and humble person, as well.

As she read from the pages, I was spellbound. I mean it--I literally stopped eating my delicious filet mignon breakfast to better hear her voice as she channeled the main character, Katniss in a pivotal moment in the book.

The novel is set in a futuristic dystopian society where kids are sent from each of the 12 districts of Panem to battle to the death every year in the televised Hunger Games. When Katniss' gentle little sister is chosen to be one of the players, Katniss steps up to take her place. And so the adventure begins. She is taken off and treated like royalty as she and her district partner prepare for battle. And then it is time for the games to begin...and there's no choice but to play it through to the bitter end. Will Katniss survive? and what does it mean for her if she does...who will she have become in order to survive?

This book won't be officially available until October, but every student that I've handed an ARC (advanced reader's copy) has not been able to put it down either. I'm talking boys, girls, and adults alike are bowled over by this work. It is an amazing novel that I cannot recommend highly enough. Note: be prepared for the violence. All of it is important to the storyline, and not gratuitous. Librarians: Get ready to booktalk this and have it fly off the shelves---use this as a book group book and get ready for the animated and amazing discussions that will follow. Students: Get this book in your hands ASAP and read it! Oh, and don't bother making plans for the night you pick up the book--you'd just break them anyway. :)

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