Bibliographic Information: Collins, Suzanne. (2008). The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic.
Plot Description: Teenage Katniss lives in a future dystopian society where the elite in the Capitol feast and party, while those in the rest of the country are barely getting by. Katniss does what she can, even if it means defying authority, to help her family survive. When Katniss’ younger sister is chosen for the Hunger Games, a fight to the death sanctioned and mandated by the Capitol, she steps forward and volunteers herself to take her sister’s place, something almost unheard of in the history of the games. Though not as strong or brutal as some of the other contestants, Katniss uses her survival skills to become a contender for victory, but will she have to sacrifice if she is to outlive the others?
Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Measure: 810L, Interest Level: Middle/Upper Grades, ATOS Book Level: 5.3
Qualitative Reading Analysis: The story includes subplots and more complex characters. It is told in first person, so the reader is limited by only knowing what the narrator tells them, but she is a reliable narrator. The reader only knows as much as the narrator knows. Organization is conventional and chronological, with clear transitions to lead the reader through the story. The language is largely explicit with occasion for more complex meaning. Mostly contemporary language, with unfamiliar words, unique to the fictional world, being explained, such as tesserae, which the narrator explains is worth a year’s supply of grain and oil for one person. Many complex sentences with subordinate clauses and transition words. Some themes are clear and others implicit. Themes of varying levels of complexity are explored. Experience portrayed are distinctly different than those of readers. However, readers may relate to themes of taking care of or protecting family or younger siblings.
Content Area: Reading, Literature
Content Area Standard: English Language Arts Standards: Speaking & Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
English Language Arts Standards: Writing: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
Curriculum Suggestions: Have students research one of the survival skills needed by the Hunger Games contestants, such as basic first aid, hunting, identification of edible plants, archery, camouflage, etc and have them make a how to video on the topic for amateurs. Have students write part of the story from a different character’s point of view, in their chosen point of view, such as journal entry or letter.
Supporting Digital Content:
Awards: SLJ Best Book; Kirkus Editors Choice/Best Book; Publishers Weekly Best Book; VOYA Award/Honor; ALA Notable/Best Books; Horn Book Fanfare; -Golden Duck Award/Nominee; Booklist Editors’ Choice;
Series information: 1st book in the Hunger Games Series
Character names/descriptions: Katniss is the heroine of the novel, she uses her survival instincts to try to stay ahead, Peeta is the other tribute training with Katniss, he is both a possible love interest and enemy in the fight for survival, Prim is Katniss’ little sister, for whom she risks her life.
Personal Thoughts: This book is intriguing, suspenseful and fill of adventure. The romantic element will appeal to some teens, as well.
High interest annotation: Katniss volunteers herself for almost certain death in order to save her sister, but could she possibly have what it takes to save herself as well?