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NCPL hosted our teen “Quarter Quell” on Saturday, November 16, 2013 to celebrate the impending release of the “Catching Fire” movie.  Teens played games, created Tribute Token magnets, designed Tick-Tock clocks (that really work!), and watched “The Hunger Games” movie. We also painted faces and had fun in our makeshift photo booth.   Check out the fun!  (Photos can be found on our Facebook and Flickr accounts.)

With the Catching Fire movie set to premiere this week, it seems like a fitting time to share the book series, as a refresher for those who have already read it or to hook those who may have waiting.

(Click here to place The Hunger Games movie on hold!  Check out all the Hunger Games books, music, and movie materials in our collection.)


(**Spoiler Alert:  If you haven’t read the whole series, beware that there may be some spoilers in my reviews!**)

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Welcome to the 74th Annual Hunger Games! This yearly event is the height of Reality TV. Think “Fear Factor”,”The Amazing Race”, and “Project Runway” meet “Survivor”.
“The Hunger Games” are hosted by the Capitol of Panem, the nation formerly known as North America, and is the punishment for the uprising of the districts against the Capitol. Each of the 12 remaining Districts is required to send 2 tributes who have been chosen during the Reaping. One that day a lottery system selects one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate. In the case of this year’s finalists from District 12, Katniss has stepped forward to take the place of the chosen tribute, her younger sister Prim.
Here is how the competition works. The 24 tributes (contestants) are placed in an outdoor arena specially designed by the game makers who have watched the tributes train and prepare. Once in the arena the tributes must do whatever is necessary to survive. The last tribute standing wins.
The competition is televised live so everyone in the country can watch and cheer on their tributes. The winning tribute will return home to a life of luxury. Their district will also receive a year’s worth of food.
“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!”

Why I picked it up: I had been meaning to re-read the series since “Mockingjay” was released in 2010, because I couldn’t remember all the details. The release of the movie & our party here at the library were a good reason to start again. (I listened to the audio the first time, read book the second.)

Why I finished it: I was hooked. Even though I was going slow and taking notes, I couldn’t put it down. I could see the arena, smell the fire, etc. Even though I knew the ending, I kept rooting for Katniss and hoping Prim wouldn’t be reaped.

I’d give it to: fans of dystopian and “The Maze Runner”. Readers looking for a strong character. People who have time to read a whole series! Readers looking for a book they can’t put down. People who go to watch the movie and want to know more about where it all started.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire

As we all know, Katniss & Peeta became the first dual winners of the 74th Hunger Games. And while many in Panem are excited and reenergized by this feat, the Capitol and President Snow are not impressed. They view Katniss’ stunt with the berries as rebellion. They also don’t buy the story of Katniss and Peeta as star-crossed lovers.

As Katniss and Peeta prepare for their Victory Tour, set midway between the games, President Snow pays Katniss a surprise visit and leaves her with a threat. Either convince the Capitol and all of Panem that you are madly in love with Peeta, or those you love with die, starting with Gale. He also informs Katniss that her “stunt” at the Games has set off a chain reaction of rebellion throughout the Districts. She must not fan those flames or else.

How can you smoulder a spark you didn’t even mean to light, especially when you, a poor coalminer’s daughter, have become the symbol of hope for a generation? Katniss better figure it out and fast. Especially since the Quarter Quell is approaching… and every 25 year anniversary of the Hunger Games holds it’s own special treat for Panem. And this year’s twist will no doubt leave everyone on the edge of their seats.

Why I picked up the book: Seems like a silly question. I read it the first time because I loved HG and had to know what happens next. The second time I’m reread the series because the movie came out and I hadn’t ever read Mockingjay because I couldn’t remember the details.

Why I finished it: It is one of those series that you can’t put down. Once you are in the arena, you find yourself fighting to survive.

I’d recommend it to: fans of Hunger Games and dystopian. Teens and adults alike. If you liked the movie but haven’t read the books, pick them up!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay

When we last saw Katniss, the Mockingjay had been lifted out of the arena into a hovercraft and whisked away from the Quarter Quell leaving readers with many questions.

Who rescued her and where did they take her? Who else survived? Where the rumors of District 13’s survival true? And most importantly, who does Katniss really love?

In war, it can often be hard to determine who is victim and who is the aggressor as well as who ultimately wins and loses.

Why I picked up the book: I waited until 2012 to read it, giving the excuse that I had a new baby when it was released in 2010 and couldn’t recall the details from the first two books. I reread the series in 2012 since the Hunger Games movie was just released.

Why I finished it: Now I realize it was because like with other great series, (ie. Harry Potter), I wasn’t ready to let go. Amazingly in two years I had only heard one spoiler and it was a month before I read it. Even knowing that piece of information, I still had to know how it would happen. And it was probably for the better that I knew or I might have either flung the book across the room or bawled my eyes out.

I know some people didn’t like this installment as well as the others but I’d give it either a 4.5 or 5. It didn’t have the same action packed suspense as HG or CF, yet you get to see Katniss grow into herself and realize her effect on others. As she hears what Delly and others say, I found myself reflecting on how others might view me as opposed to how I view myself… very important for teens to read and see in their own lives.

I loved Collins’ clear picture of the horrors of war and power. Haymitch’s quote to Katniss near the end about the horrors of war and humans being fickle and selfish was great (p379).

Even thought it wasn’t quite a typical beach/vacation read, I’m glad I took it and took the time to absorb it. Letting go of Katniss won’t happen easily (just like with Harry & crew). I will definitely read this series again.

I’d give it to: teen and adult fans of the series.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!

Reviews by Jenn, YA Librarian (View all my Goodreads reviews)

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