Friday, September 09, 2011

The Hunger Games

A couple of weeks ago, Satchel came home from school very excited about a book. This never happens. "Can we get it? Can we get it? Can we get it?" he asked me while hopping up and down in the kitchen. As I loaded the dishwasher, I had questions. "Where did you hear about it? What's it about?"

He didn't give me much detail, only that it was awesome and that David was reading it. David is his friend at school who is a little older and therefore WAY cooler. Satchel's idolizing David already got him in trouble once with the XBOX, so I was wary.

Since I understand books a lot better than video games, I went on Amazon to see what the book was about. When I read, "The Hunger Games are an annual televised event where the Capitol chooses one boy and one girl from each of 12 districts to fight to the death," I was even more wary. Kids killing kids?

I asked my friends on Facebook if they'd read the book, or if their kids had read the book, and got a pretty mixed review. So, I decided to read it myself and then decide.

Let me just say that I don't really read. Don't get me wrong. I love books and reading. I read to the kids almost every night. I have a stack of books by my bed--mostly non-fiction--that I am slowly making my way through. But I haven't really read a fiction book purely for pleasure in forever--probably since before I got pregnant with Satchel. Something about becoming a mother has turned me into a non-fiction, reality TV centric entertainment consumer. (I do love going to the movies though.)

Once I started The Hunger Games, I couldn't stop. It was a total page turner and I finished it in about a day and a half. I thought it was fine for Satchel and handed it over to him when I was done. I also told Warren that I thought he would like it.

Then something weird happened. I got depressed. I was depressed that the book was finished! Thankfully it is part of a trilogy. It took me a few days, but I finally made it over to Laurelwood to buy the remaining two books. Then I promptly read them over the three day weekend.

That's right--three books in a week!

Warren started reading The Hunger Games at night, and Satchel read it during the day. They both finished and are now sharing the second book, Catching Fire. I can't wait for Warren to finish so we can talk about it, and I am so excited that they are making a movie!

I won't be surprised if Satchel doesn't finish Catching Fire. I think he was most interested in the actual Hunger Games part of the first book. The larger story and the romantic parts don't really interest him yet. If he does finish, it will probably just be to impress David!

I did order another trilogy by the same author, called Gregor the Overlander that is targeted towards younger kids. I'll probably read the first one out loud at bedtime. Hopefully that inspire Satchel or Jiro to read the others to themselves.

Jiro is desperate for me to read him The Hunger Games, but I told him he'd have to read it himself. So far, he hasn't shown much interest in doing that, which is fine by me. I don't think he's quite there yet.

In this case, I'm really happy with how things turned out. I realized that I shouldn't automatically put something on the "naughty list" just because an older kid likes it. I'm also glad to see that Satchel can get pleasure from a book and not just video games. And it also makes me feel good that we were able to read the same book and both enjoy it (albeit on different levels).


Blair said...

No one in my family has read the Hunger Games yet, but I did check it out from the library a couple of days ago. Here are some other books/series that we have all loved:
Mysterious Benedict Society series
Peter and the Starcatchers series
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
The Kane Chronicles

All are appropriate for boys (sometimes I know that's an issue)

Lone Star Ma said...

I resisted reading them for a long time due to what they were about but I then really enjoyed them, too.

Anonymous said...

And a movie of the first book is coming out next March.

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