Racism and The Hunger Games?

When I was looking at my Facebook newsfeed this evening I saw that a friend had posted this link: Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed.

Intrigued, I clicked on it and checked out the article on Jezebel.com.  Apparently people who saw the movie this weekend (I have yet to see it) were upset by the fact that Rue and other characters were black.  The article points out that in the book several of the characters are described as having dark skin.  So it made me think- did I picture these characters as black?  Did I picture them as white?  I honestly can’t remember.  But I can also say I don’t ever remember watching any movie, tv show, etc and being disappointed by the race of the actor cast in a role.  In many stories in fact I think race can be somewhat of a non-issue.  The Hunger Games doesn’t take place in a specific country or even a time that we can relate to so I don’t see race as we see it even being an issue to be discussed.  It’s a great story with great characters.  I’ll reserve judgement on the movie itself but this article is truly frightening to me.  If these are the opinions of our youth, of the future leaders of our country, and if they feel comfortable enough expressing these seemingly racist views then we still have a LOT of work to do in regards to race relations.

 

I’ll step off my soapbox now and hopefully will see the movie next weekend and will post a review.  I’m still working on finishing 13 Reasons Why  and The Book Thief which will also be forthcoming reviews!  Thanks for being patient!

Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins


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Review:

The final installment of The Hunger Games trilogy did a great job of tying ending the saga.  I felt like most of my questions were answers, though some new ones were brought to light.  I think leaving some things unanswered allows for healthy debate among readers.  With all that being said this was my least favorite of the books.  I can’t put my finger on why, but it is what it is.

Overall this is the best YA series I’ve read and I recommend it to anyone who will listen!  What was your overall impression?

 

The Lowdown: (from Scholastic.com)

Interest Level: 6-8  (As with Catching Fire I think this is a little off- I’d say more 7-10)
Grade Level: 5.4

Teaching Resources:

Book talk and Discussion Guide available from Scholastic.com

AWARDS:

#1 USA TODAY BESTSELLER

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES

#1 WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER

#1 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLING SERIES

NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE CHILDREN’S BOOK OF 2010

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY’S BEST BOOKS OF 2010:
CHILDREN’S FICTION

A BOOKLIST EDITORS’ CHOICE, 2010

A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2010

NPR BEST BOOKS OF 2010

A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE

A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR’S BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF 2010

BARNES & NOBLE BEST TEEN BOOKS OF 2010

AMAZON BEST BOOKS OF 2010:
#3 ON CUSTOMER FAVORITES LIST

Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins


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Review:

LOVE.  This sequel to The Hunger Games definitely expands upon and lives up to the first book of the trilogy.  Following the lives of the characters post Hunger Games we continue to be invested in their fates.  I was hooked from page one, and read this book very quickly.  I finished it on a snow day- and was SO upset that I didn’t have Mockingjay at my apartment with me.  A complete page turner, the ending made me very eager to read the next, and final book.

As with The Hunger Games I see this book appealing to both male and female readers.  As I mention below, Scholastic has the interest level being grades 6-8 but I feel the themes and content are more appropriate starting at 7th grade and going up to 10th (for in the classroom- older students would also enjoy it!).

The Lowdown: (from Scholastic.com)

Interest Level: 6-8  (I think this is a little off- I’d say more 7-10)
Grade Level: 5.4

Teaching Resources:

Book talk and Discussion Guide available from Scholastic.com

AWARDS:

#1 USA TODAY BESTSELLER

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

#1 WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER

#1 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER

A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE

TIME MAGAZINE
TOP 10 FICTION BOOKS OF 2009

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY’S BEST BOOKS OF 2009:
CHILDREN’S FICTION

A PEOPLE MAGAZINE (TOP 10) BEST BOOK OF 2009

A LOS ANGELES TIMES BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK OF 2009

A BOOKLIST EDITORS’ CHOICE, 2009

A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2009

AN AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
BEST BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULTS SELECTION

#1 YALSA’S TEENS’ TOP TEN, 2010

NYPL “STUFF FOR THE TEEN AGE” LIST, 2010

2010 CHILDREN’S CHOICE BOOK AWARD
TEEN CHOICE BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER

2010 INDIES CHOICE AWARD WINNER–YOUNG ADULT

TOP 10 ON THE FALL 2009 CHILDREN’S INDIE NEXT LIST

BARNES & NOBLE BEST TEEN BOOKS OF 2009

BORDERS BEST BOOKS OF 2009: TEENS

AMAZON BEST BOOKS OF 2009:
TOP 100 EDITORS’ PICK
TOP 10 BOOKS: TEENS

The Hunger Games Poll #2

Here is my second Hunger Games poll.  I know which one I liked most- do you?

The Hunger Games Poll #1

As I gear up to write my reviews of Catching Fire and Mockingjay I have come up with a few polls to keep you entertained.  Here is Poll #1: (If you post a comment, please don’t post any spoilers for those who have not read the books yet)