The Hunger Games Trilogy (By: Suzanne Collins)

The Hunger Games
AR Book Level: 5.3
Scholastic Book Level: 5.3

Catching Fire
AR Book Level: 5.3
Scholastic Book Level: 5.4

Mockingjay
AR Book Level: 5.3
Scholastic Book Level: 5.3

Summary:
(The Hunger Games) After the Rebellion, District 13 was eliminated and the Hunger Games were instated. Each year the reaping chose 2 tributes, a male and female, from each district to come play. Only 1 tribute can win and only one survives, maybe.
(Catching Fire) Katniss’s performance in the first games may have earned the title of victor but she also gained a position in the rebellion. While trying to stop the fire from catching, Katniss causes an irreversible ripple that ignites the rebels and causes great danger to her family. When the Quarter Quell is announced and her return to the Arena is revealed a plan arises that Katniss plays a key part in while knowing nothing about it.
(Mockingjay) Katniss is now the face of the rebellion. She unifies the people to fight the capital. But will she lose everyone she loves while trying to save them…

Review: I bought the trilogy on Amazon and read the whole thing in a little over a week. It was absolutely riveting. I have to say it was a welcome difference from the vampire and werewolf stuff that seems to be in every YA novel that’s out now. But it was not something I would suggest for a 5th grader which is the reading level it’s listed for. In the first book, 10 people die and it’s not “then they died”; it’s more like and then he was mauled by mutant wolves so I finished him off by shooting him through his mouth with an arrow. The books end at pivotal points that cause you to move directly into the next book. They flow well but I did find book 3 (Mockingjay) a bit slow because Katniss does spend so much time in the hospital during that book. There is a romantic element weaves throughout all three books as well that really adds to the storyline but isn’t so provocative that you feel sleazy just reading about it!

Teaching Resources:
Katniss is an expert archer so it makes sense to look into archery while reading this trilogy. USA Archery has all sorts of information about archery and how you become involved. It also has a story about the training given to the Katniss character for the movie “The Hunger Games” which comes out in theatres later this month.

Katniss is from District 12 which produces coal for the Capitol. Coal can be a great unit study for children of all ages and can be tied into various other subjects other than just conservation. iLoveMountains has various units available for use.

Scholastic offers an all inclusive study guide that covers all three books. It has information about the author as well and would be a great discussion guide to be used if this were a read aloud in the classroom.

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