The Hunger Games, a book where imprisoned kids and teens are killing each other for the entertainment of the upper class society. This book is about war, it’s about survival, it’s about life.
When I was young there was the hobbit, the Narnia books, and Stephen King if you want to compare horror for horror. No content rating, if you were an avid reader and you loved horror, these were the books you gravitated to. By our standards now they are teen/adult rating. Now we know better, we know that there are ideals and situations that are appropriate for certain ages. Not just because of the violence or the sex or the language, but also, the understanding of certain situations.
When I first heard of the book, I couldn’t believe that a book about people hunting each other would catch on. I was really shocked. I hadn’t seen the movie or read any of the books. I did watch the trailers and heard conversations. Then my tween daughter asked if she could read it. Her friends were reading it. “What were those parents thinking!!!” was all that I could say. Finally I saw the movie, and it reassured me about my decision to not let her read the book or see the movie….so much killing by kids. I had to look away. A year later, she asked again….her friend and her mom were reading the books and then going to see the movies together. I knew I could forbid her from both and she would have listened to me, but it made me think about the books that were in her school that she was already reading. The books that I read when I was her age were adult content. Should I take this opportunity and read the book and see? I hadn’t read a book in a while, and I was always looking for a good book to pick up. So I decided to start with the second book in the trilogy “Catching Fire”. ..since I had already seen the first movie. I had heard the movie and the books are very close in truth to each other. Well, it really wasn’t what I expected. It really wasn’t that bad. Yes people died, sometimes in bad ways. But it wasn’t as gory as I had expected. It could have been worse. I guess this is not what a parent wants to hear. But when you think about what’s going on in the world, what you really cannot shelter your child from anymore, do you think it’s time for conversations?....this is me talking to myself, I’m sure you have your own crazy little gal/guy voice at you about these things. In the Ukrain, in Syria, in Paris and in our own back yards of CA and Chicago. War is reality. In our own towns there’s hunger not just for food, for economic security, for shelter, for human kindness. Are there other books out there.. yes. I am getting engaged, and I’m sure I’ll find some. But she’s a crazy avid reader my tween, she eats books up like they are chocolate. I’m very proud and happy that she didn’t get my dyslexic gene. And besides, this world is small. I can keep the news off the TV, I can-not talk about it in front of her, but no matter how I keep it out of my house, it’s going to get to her one way or another. Believe it or not, tweens now a days do still talk. The hunger games trilogy is created by a wonderful writer that really knows how to communicate each situation. Suzanne Collins really explains a situation without too much unneeded detail. Exactly what a dyslexic like me thrives on. The books are addicting. So my husband and I decided to let her read the Hunger games and we would talk about the parts that were troubling and confusing. So far it has been a really wonderful conversation. There are parts where she doesn’t understand the situation. We talk about the parts we liked and disliked and how the movie and books are similar. I truly recommend reading the trilogy with your tween, it opens up a great conversation that may never end. For a question and answer with Suzanne Collins please see link: Suzanne Collins answers