I'm delighted to be taking part in the "Jump on the Banned Wagon" party, sponsored by Sheila at BookJourney. I offered to review "The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins, and offered a giveaway prize package to go along with the celebration!
About The Book:
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Why It Was "Challenged":
Even though the movie and DVD version has made a fortune, it seems not everyone is quite so hungry for The Hunger Games. The trilogy was No. 5 on the list last year, but moved up to No. 3 this year of the American Library Association's list of "challenged" books. This year complaints about the book were harsh, including that it is anti-ethnic, anti-family, satanic, and violent. The trilogy’s author, Suzanne Collins, has said she is aware that “people were concerned about the level of violence in the books. That’s not unreasonable. They are violent. It’s a war trilogy."
(Info courtesy of the website The Daily Beast.)
Yes, I know - I'm very very late to The Hunger Games party! I have had a copy of this book sitting on my shelf for months, and hadn't gotten around to reading it. But when I found out it was on the list of "challenged" books, I thought I would see what all the fuss was about.
In a word - WOW! This is a fascinating and mesmerizing story that pulls you in and doesn't let go! Suzanne Collins spins a story that includes drama, action, adventure, romance - you name it, it's there. Well-written and packed with exacting details and enchanting descriptions, you almost feel as if you are watching a movie in your mind as you read the tale.
I can see why the book is often challenged - this story is about a game where a group of selected young people run around trying to outlast one another in a brutally violent game of hide-and-seek. But I found nothing "satanic" or "anti-family" about the book at all. If anything it shows a great love of family as Katniss makes the ultimate sacrifice to take her sister's place in the Games.
I agree that small children and younger readers probably shouldn't read this book without their parent's knowledge. But shouldn't parents be guiding their kids in regards to their reading selections to begin with? I think that today's more mature young readers will be able to handle the story just fine - we see much worse on the television news every day, all day long!
"The Hunger Games" is a beautifully written story that has earned it's worth and it's place in book history as being an excellent novel.
And now, I'm off to buy "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay" as well as renting the DVD of "The Hunger Games." Yes, I'm hooked!
About The Author:
Suzanne Collins' debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in The Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. The series has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous accolades. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.
One lucky winner will receive:
A Katniss bookmark
A Set of The Hunger Games pins
a Rafflecopter giveaway
My thanks to Sheila for including me on this fun event! Check out her website at http://bookjourney.wordpress.com for more "Banned Books Week" giveaways!
I purchased "The Hunger Games" for my personal library. I was not compensated for my opinion.