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Archive for March 27th, 2012

The Hunger Games

Read other Slice of Life writers at The Two Writing Teachers

I have been struggling with The Hunger Games hype.  Because one of my fifth graders begged me to, I read the first book.  The violence bothered me.  I couldn’t relate to Katniss.  I wasn’t getting into it.  But I did finally finish it last week and have wondered about this odd feeling I have about it.  Is it intended to make me squirm like this?  I plan to go to the movie because I’m curious.  I want to see how they portray the book.  Will I care more about the main character? Or will I be left again with this discomfort?

Today, I talked to two of my students about the book and movie, both 5th grade girls.

“Why do you like it?”

K: “Suzanne Collins makes you want to keep reading.  The way she writes.”

“But what about it makes you keep reading?  Is it the romance?”

K: shy blushing grin (I interpret that as a yes.)

Second student conversation:

“Why did you like The Hunger Games?”

R: “It totally changed my outlook on life.”

“What do you mean?”

R; “There’s this kid in my class that others pick on.  I realize that that is not important.  There are bigger things to worry about.”

“So you see the Hunger Games as a warning of what could happen?”

R: “Yes,  and it’s really scary to think about.”

I am still wondering what the appeal is.  I am worried about our society that elevates a book like this to such heights.  Are we concerned about our fellow man or are we selfish and looking out for our own survival?  I feel it is similar to the appeal of shows like Survivor and The Bachelor in which one person is deemed the winner with little concern for others.  And sometimes to survive, you have to knock out the other guy.  What is this all leading to?  Perhaps Suzanne Collins is giving us a warning, and instead of taking that warning, young teens are voraciously reading and flocking to the movie to see who wins.  Or is it all about the romance?

What do you think?

Here is a link to my student’s slice about The Hunger Games and other stuff: GT Allstars

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