Last year I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and I couldn’t stop talking about it. This week I finished reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and I can’t stop talking about. Seriously. It is that good. It is so good that you should rush out to your local independent book store, or chain book store if it is all that is available, and buy a copy. Or, at the very least put yourself on the waiting list at your local library, for their is bound to be a waiting list.
I read the book on recommendation of a very good friend and excellent book recommender. When I started reading I had the thought in mind that Hunger Games would be a nice companion text to Lord of the Flies, which I will teach later this year. I can see it being used with Lord of the Flies, and with any other number of books. It hits on many themes: survival, love, family, power. It is a book that I would love to teach.
Hunger Games is set in a post-modern United States where twenty-four children must fight to the death each year as entertainment for the ruling class. Katniss, our protagonist, heroically volunteers to take the place of her young sister in the 74th annual hunger games, thus beginning the novel. The action is pretty much non-stop and a non-corny, believable love story is woven throughout. Can you really ask for more?
I could write a review, but you can google search the book and get one that is better than I could write. What I will do is tell you, no … I demand that you read this book. (That might have been a little harsh.)
In other news, and there is a lot of other news, the National Book Awards were announced this week and that is always exciting. Colum McCann won the fiction prize with his book Let the Great World Spin. It is a book that is sitting in my ever growing “to read” pile. Maybe I will have to get to it over Thanksgiving break, or maybe not.
This brings me to my next piece of other news, I am in the middle of a sort of challenge. I am attempting to read four books by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. These are not just any four books, but books that are in the book room and available for me to use in class. I am thinking lit circles. The books are:
- Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
- My Antonia by Will Cather
- Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
- Friends by Rosa Guy
I have always loved a good challenge and I think that I am up for this one. We will see how it goes.