Encore: Kids Explain Hunger Games for the Rest of Us

Last week Cedar Falls Patch asked readers to help explain The Hunger Games. Turns out some Iowa City kids had it covered.

Editor's Note:

Last week, I asked you, dear readers, to help explain The Hunger Games, which at the time I had not read (I've since been sucked in and am now a fully converted fan). . Meanwhile, editor Brian Morelli asked a similar question, and the responses he got from Iowa City kids are too good not to share.

If you're a fan of the indomitable Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games survive-at-any-cost heroine, check out our , where we're asking for your recommendations for books featuring strong women.

Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

-Alison Gowans


by B.A. Morelli

Is anyone else completely in the dark about the Hunger Games? I confess, I never heard of it until the hype for the took over every form of media.

I picked up that this book series aimed at children, so I've enlisted the experts. No, not Roger Ebert or Rotten Tomatoes. I did one better. I asked local kids to explain to me, and everyone else who needs it, what is the.

Fifth graders from and another student from in Iowa City have graciously given their takes, but this invitation is open to anyone who feels like sharing a review of the Hunger Games. Add them in the comments.

This first review is from Delaney M., 11:  

The Hunger Games takes place in the world once known as North America, and now Panem.

Panem is filled with hunger. All districts 1-12 or 13 are hungry and one boy from each district are chosen each year to fight. There can only be one winner of the games. Sometimes there is no winner and when Katniss' sister is chosen to be in the games, Katniss volunteers and promises she will win. To find out more, read the Hunger Games.

Here is a review from Maya D., 11:

The Hunger Games is a fast, adventurous, riveting book that’s great for any girl or boy. I loved it because the main character, Katniss Everdeen, is portrayed as a strong person, managing her family, hunting (illegally) to supply their food, and volunteering her life to save her sister’s. My favorite characters are:

1. Cinna, the absolutely amazing stylist of Katniss, whom I LOVE because he is a stylist, and because he is always there for Katniss. My favorite line of his is, “I’m not allowed to bet, but if I could, my money would be on you.”

2. Haymitch Abernathy, the drunken mentor for Katniss and her partner, Peeta Mellark. I like him because he is really funny and, while admittedly a terrible role model, occasionally gives really good advice. One of which is, “Stay alive.”

3. Effie Trinket, the uptight, slightly unintelligent, yet incredibly funny, chaperone of the tributes from District 12. I love her because she has such an outstanding (and a little outrageous) wardrobe you have to laugh when it’s described, and because she’s dramatic and funny. My favorite line of hers is “If you press a coal hard enough, you get a pearl!”

So if you like action, humor, and admittedly a little romance, then the Hunger Games is perfect for you! Happy Hunger Games!

This one if is from Ruby A., 11:

I went to see the Hunger Games movie, and it was amazing! The characters look exactly like how they described them in the books, and their acting was great. It was very violent, like the book, but definitely worth seeing. As for left out parts there were not many. Most people will complain that movies are not like the books they were made after, but I could not complain. I encourage anyone who has read the book(s) (and does not think it's too violent) to go see it! (I recommend only ages 9-10+ for violence and language).

Here is what Sonali D., 14, has to say:

The Hunger Games is such a popular book because of the depth of the characters. Even in a situation most of us can’t even imagine being in, Katniss is a character we can relate to because, in the end, everything she does is for those she cares about. The series is set in a future world that seems completely alien, but there are moments that the reader can connect to: Katniss’ grief over the loss of her friends and family, and her relationship with Peeta. The Hunger Games is a complex story that shows both the violence possible in any society, and the hope that can defeat it. That’s the secret of its appeal.

Alright, who wants to trade some Pop-Tarts and my three best marbles for a copy of the Hunger Games?

B.A. Morelli April 02, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Have any classes in the Cedar Falls schools read Hunger Games? Kids or adults, please send in your takes. Is this hype deserved? And, how does the movie stack of up the the books?


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