The Hunger Games

Hunger Games cover

by Suzanne Collins

Katniss, like my Emmajin, is a strong-willed, dark-haired archer who will inspire many girl readers!

When I first heard about The Hunger Games, I refused to read it. The premise seemed so awful: 24 teenagers are forced to participate in a televised competition in which they have to kill each other. The last one alive wins.The contest takes place in North America in the distant future, when the Capitol oppresses its people by forcing them to offer their teenagers each year as tributes, sacrifices to these terrible Hunger Games. Who would want to read about that?

Well, millions of readers are onto something, something quite amazing. Because it's true: Once you start this book, it's very tough to put it down. This book is brilliantly written, tightly plotted, and full of surprises. I kept predicting what would happen, and I was wrong.

More importantly, the book asks a deep and resounding question: How could you possibly maintain your human values when society forces you toward violence and cruelty? Like Lois Lowry's The Giver (published in 1993; if you haven't read it, you should!), it forces readers to ask deep and difficult questions, to decide what really matters in life. Those challenges are valuable at any age.

Suzanne Collins's website is www.suzannecollinsbooks.com.