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Collins, Suzanne.
New York : Scholastic, 2008
ISBN 0439023483

(14 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

The United States is no more than a distant memory.  Drought, famine and war have put an end to the once great country.  And now the people of Panem are divided into 12 districts.  Each year, two teens are chosen from each district to play the Hunger Games.  This is televised and everyone is required to watch. This year, 16 year old Katniss is one of the representatives from her district to play.  To compete.  To try to survive.

Booktalk #2

This captivating story by the best selling author, Suzanne Collins, begins in the District 12 of Panem. Once a year, the Capitol of Panem takes one girl and one boy ages 12-18 from each of 12 districts under its rule and forces them to kill each other in a game known as the hunger games. When Katniss Everdeen's sister is chosen, Kaniss volunteers in her place. She and Peeta, the male tribute, form a plan to get more sponsors for themselves, which involves a false romance between the two. When real and false emotions collide, trouble brews between the two, because only one can make it out alive.  (Joanne,, k-12 student)

Booktalk #3

North America is long gone. Now known as Panem, the continent consists of 12 districts ruled by a capital somewhere in the western mountains. Life in the districts is pretty rudimentary and neighbors try to help each other out. However, once a year there is a lottery, with a chance for a district to receive extra benefits from the capital.  It is billed and televised as an exciting contest of strength and skill. In truth it is a dark and frightening contest.  Each year, every family in each district must enter the names of their children between the ages of 10 and maybe 16. If it has been a tough year for a family, they can earn extra money or goods by putting their child's name in more than once, thus increasing their chance of being picked. It is rumored that wealthy families buy their way out of the lottery. They never seem to be the ones whose names are drawn.  When 16-year-old Katniss's little sister's name is drawn to represent their district, Katniss quickly goes forward to take her place. She at least might have a chance; she is strong, and a skilled hunter. Her sister would not last a day. For this is a contest that ends when only one of the12 is left alive.  Each contestant is immediately flown to the capital where a crew of fashion designers and groomers make them into stars for the televised promos, Katniss and another contestant, a boy she knows, are played for public viewing as star-crossed lovers. How these two cope with the demands of the game becomes the web of the story which moves above the realm of brutality and into the role of trust and friendship in the face of survival.   (New Hampshire Isinglass nominee, 2010)

Booktalk #4

This story is quick-paced science fiction, set in the not too distant future. America is now called Pamen and is divided into twelve districts. The rich, privileged people in the Capitol keep the people in the outlying districts in line through a reality TV program called The Games. Every year each district is required to send one boy and one girl, between the ages of 12 – 18, to participate in The Games. These games are a fight-to-the-death version of the TV show Survivor, complete with alliances and a little romance thrown in. There’s also the glitzy aspect of Dancing with the Stars as the 24 contestants all get makeovers complete with flashy outfits so they’re more photogenic. This book is very exciting, but it also makes you stop and think about what happens when a culture values entertainment more than humaneness.  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards Program, 2009-2010)

Booktalk #5

Everyone has at one time or another witnessed the unbelievable antics of reality TV contestants. Maybe you have seen an episode of “Survivor” with broken alliances and the million dollar rewards or one of the many other shows that demonstrate humanity at its lowest. Well, Hunger Games is reality TV to the death.  Katniss, the 16 year-old protagonist in the novel Hunger Games, battles other teenagers from various districts in the former United States and it is all broadcast live on national TV. You want to know the rewards? Very similar to contemporary reality TV, you receive money, uncountable luxuries, and you are elevated to celebrity status. Oh and did I mention, if you survive…they might just allow you to live.    (Rhode Island Teen Book Award nominee, 2010)

Booktalk #6

In the far off future, the United States is divided into districts and ruled by a dictatorship that keeps everyone poor and powerless. Katniss is good at supporting her family by hunting and scavenging illegally, but she knows she is not good enough for the annual “Hunger Games,” a real-time gladiator competition between young people selected from each district. Think reality TV except the it's to the death - and only one person will win. So Katniss knows she probably won't live through it when she volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games. Then Katniss finds out that her fiercest competitor will be Peeta, a boy she has a history with. Would he really kill her? Could she really kill him?
Reviewed by Jenna Obee for Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2010

Booktalk #6

In a futuristic America, a boy and a girl from each of twelve provinces are chosen lottery style each year to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised reality show where only one will emerge alive to earn wealth and extra food for their province. When 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen?s little sister is selected, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. Will she survive?  (Florida Teen Reads nominee, 2010)

Booktalk #7

Maintaining control is never easy, but the government of Panem has discovered a way of subduing dissidents. Each year, two people from each of the twelve districts are chosen to participate in The Hunger Games – a fight to the death for all but one contestant. This year, Katniss steps up to take her younger sister’s place. Once the selection is made, Katniss and Peeta (the male participant from District 12) are caught in a whirlwind of preparation. There are lessons in defense, survival, and television appeal. The game requires each participant to outlast, outwit and out-maneuver the other contestants – while the entire country watches on their television screens each day. Brutal tasks, unbearable situations, and manipulated settings test each contestant to his or her breaking point. The only way out? Personal death or the murder of the rest of the group. What possible plan can Katniss and Peeta develop that guarantees their survival and their safe return home? Read The Hunger Games to see what happens to this pair of warriors.
Prepared by: Beth Pace, Spartanburg School District One for South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees, 2010-2011

Booktalk #8

In the post-apocalyptic world of Panem, television dominates everything.  The 12 districts each must provide “tributes” for the entertainment of the residents.  To be chosen as a “tribute” means a trip to the Capital city, a more prosperous life for your family, and the chance to star in the greatest reality show in the universe!  But there’s a catch – tributes must fight each other and only one can survive!

When her younger sister is chosen as a tribute, Katness Everdeen volunteers to take her place.  She finds herself in a literal fight for her life and in the odd position of also fighting her emotions as she struggles to survive and not lose her humanity.

This is a real page-turner.  The characters are very believable and the reader gets sucked into a world that is both exciting and deadly.  There are lots of twists and turns and, yes, violence and death.  Who will live to continue the story? 

(booktalk by Diane Ferbrache, Hazen High School Librarian for The Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2011)

Booktalk #9

[At the start of your booktalks leave two pieces of paper folded in half on the seats of some of the chairs: in the center of each have a large red "X".] 

Has anyone got a lottery slip on their chair? [Invite the two up] Congratuations! You've won the hunger games lottery for your district. You get to go to the Capitol and play in the Hunger Games arena! It's going to be on T.V. It's more popular than American Idol and Survivor combined: everyone in the world watches! [Ask teens in turn] Do you know how to fight with a knife? A gun? Do you know how to set traps? Handle explosives? How fast can you run? Swim? Climb? [Wait for answers] That's too bad. The winners from the rich districts have been training all their lives. They're Olympic-caliber athletes who know how to shoot and fight.  I don't suppose either of you has much change of beating them.

In the Hunger Games arena there is only one rule: kill or be killed. The last teenager left alive wins the game.

In Suzanne Collin's book The Hunger Games it's time for the lottery again. When Kitness' baby sister wins, she decides to take her place; to die for her. Kitness comes from the poorest district of all: she doesn't stand a chance.  Or does she? In the 12th district, she has to hunt for food for her family; to set traps; to fight wild animals to survive. And the boy chosen from her district is tough and strong, and her friend. Maybe she has a chance after all.

But only one person can survive the hunger games: so how far will Kitness go to live? You won't want to miss The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
(booktalk by Kirsten Edwards for The Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2011) 

Booktalk 10

The United States is a thing of the past and is replaced by Panem. Panem is divided into twelve districts and each year one boy and one girl from each district are selected by the Capitol to fight to the death. Literally. In the competition known as the Hunger Games the contestants must kill each other and only one person will make it out alive. When Katniss’s sister is selected Katniss refuses to let her go and takes her place. But what Katniss doesn't expect is to become a contender in the games. With the help of fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Katniss becomes the contestant to watch out for. When Katniss and Peeta team up they fight for each other's lives as well as their own, but know that eventually there will be a time where they will have to fight each other to the death if they want to survive. Read Suzanne Collins’s, The Hunger Games to find out what happens in this thrilling fantasy novel. Who will survive when there can only be one winner? (Shannon Redini, college student)

Booktalk #11

And that's when I hear them call her name: Primrose Everdeen. But it can't be! My sister is only twelve years old; she can't possibly have been chosen for the games -- a fight to the death, all for the capital’s entertainment. There’s no way Prim will survive against the twenty-three other contestants. “I’ll volunteer” it slips past my lips before I have a chance to think of the horrors that await me. I’m Katniss Everdeen, and ready or not I must survive the Hunger Games. But the worst is yet to come. Find out what's in store for Katniss in this science fiction novel: The Hunger Games written by Suzanna Collins.
(Alexandria Hamm,, college student)

Booktalk #12

Booktalk Panem is now on the ruins of where North American use to be and is divided into twelve districts. Each year one boy and one girl are chosen in the reaping. My name is Katniss Everdeen and fear is what I felt when I heard my twelve year old sister’s name called. Without thinking I took her place as tribute. At that moment I volunteered to face 26 other teenagers in a fight to the death, controlled by the Capitol, and for all of Panem to see.  Before released into the arena, we all participate in a busy schedule of preparation to outlast and outsmart the other contestants and in hopes to get sponsors. Once in the arena, there is only two ways out; to survive or to die. We need all the help we can get in these Hunger Games. Read the modern fantasy book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to find out what Katniss and her fellow district tribute Peeta have in mind for survival and whether or not they make it out alive. Remember, only one can win.  (Cassie Jones,, college student)

Booktalk #13

District 12 is not an ideal place to live for anyone sake. The place once known as North America was dived into 12 districts that are surrounding the capital. The capital is cruel and wants to show each of the districts how powerful they are by forcing them to send one boy and one girl into a battle of the death called the annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is presented on live televivion and shows the gruesome death of many tributes. Only two are allowed to survive and the win fame and food for their entire town. Food is the most important thing when it comes to living in these sorts of districts. Katniss Everdeen only sixteen when she volunteers as tribute so her younger sister didn’t have to go in. Katniss has experienced many encounters with death but this will be like nothing she was ever experienced before. She has to make a lot of difficult choices when it come to survival and helping loved ones. Will she make it out alive? Read this extraordinary modern fantasy novel my Suzanne Collins to find out. (Amber DiCosola,, college student)

Booktalk #14

Katniss Everdeen , the girl on fire. Suzanne Collins the one who made the amazing Hunger Games  brings Katniss Everdeen a young and determined girl to take a chance that affected everyone one around her . She volunteered as tribute for the annual  Hunger Games . The only games between death and life.  To save the one she cared about she risks her life to protect the ones she loved. If you're interested in action , adventure , and breath taking moments, Suzanne Collins' the Hunger Games  is the book for you. Find out what will happen to Katniss Everdeen . Will she survive or will she die¦ (Tia,, K-12 student)

SUBJECTS:     Survival -- Fiction.
                        Television programs -- Fiction.
                        Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
                        Contests -- Fiction.
                        Science fiction.

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