Katniss, the kick-butt heroine of the The Hunger Games trilogy, is one of the most likable characters in young adult literature since Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird). She is tough, pretty and a survivor. She takes care of her Mom and little sister, providing food that otherwise would be absent. Her best friend is a dark-headed boy named Gale. Gale and Katniss scour the woods near their home hunting to find meat and any editable plants available. When their "district" holds its annual lottery for the Hunger Games, Katniss finds herself leaving behind Gale and her family to join fair-haired boy named Peeta for a life altering and threatening game.
This dystopian novel will stick with you long after your 1984 and Lord of the Flies assignments have been filed away. What is a ‘dystopian novel’?
According to Wikipedia, a dystopian novel is: "A vision of an often futuristic society, which has developed into a negative version of Utopia. A dystopia is often characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government. It often features different kinds of repressive social control systems, a lack or total absence of individual freedoms and expressions and a state of constant warfare or violence."
Now, don't let this definition scare you. In simpler terms, it basically means a futuristic novel where the government rules differently from our current system. How different then our government? In Hunger Games, the government forces its “districts” to give up their citizens for a televised "Survivor-like" game which can only end in death. The government in Hunger Games certainly fits this definition!
The Hunger Games is mentioned on the following lists in the Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens reading journal:
YALSA Teen Top Ten Award, page 33
Cybils - Children's and Young Adult Blogger's Literacy Award, page39
YALSA's Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, page 57
Amelia Bloomer Project, page 66
Golden Duck - Clement Award, page 84
Connected Youth Science Fiction List, page 88
**Rachelle can be found online on Twitter or her website. The full blog tour schedule can be found on the Traveling To Teens site.**
My turn! Just for the record, I am in the middle of The Hunger Games and totally loving it! I highly recommend it!
To find my pick for a summer read, I flipped to the Paranormal Romance section of READ, REMEMBER, RECOMMEND FOR TEENS (pg. 89). Immediately I saw a few books that stood out to me and after a few minutes of deliberation, I came to a conclusion.
My choice for a great summer read would be Marked: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast. I have a few reasons for this. The first is that P.C. Cast is an amazing author. Combine her talents with the poetic talents of her daughter, Kristin Cast, and you've got a fabulous set of minds. Marked is the first in the House of Night series and introduces us to Zoey Redbird, a fledgling vampyre. These aren't your typical vampyres. Zoey and her classmates aren't dead, in fact, they are very much alive. They don't prey on the innocent looking for blood, although bloodlust does happen. The major difference, however, is the presence of the Goddess Nyx in their lives.
P.C. Cast has a magical quality to her writing and I'm talking about more than just her characters. She has a way of creating a story that provides a fantastic escape from reality while still keeping that feeling of reality. Her books make it very easy for the reader to escape into her world.
Why do I choose this for my summer choice? Partially because it's a great book with fun characters and an emotional story; partially because it's the first in a decent sized series. Summer means tons of time for reading so why not work your way through a series? Marked begins the series followed by Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, and Burned (April 27, 2010).
Now you've seen our summer picks - what's yours? Need some help choosing? Perhaps you'd like to win a copy of READ, REMEMBER, RECOMMEND FOR TEENS?
Follow this link to enter and good luck!