They say it's the new Twilight, but better. Have you read The Hunger Games?

A literary success

The Hunger Games is a very successful book for young readers by the American author Suzanne Collins. It was published in 2008 and has sold millions of copies around the world. It is the first book for young readers to sell more than a million electronic copies. It has also been translated into 26 different languages. The Hunger Games is also now a very successful film. It made 152.5 million dollars in its first weekend in North America alone!

A fight to the death

The story takes place in the future, after the destruction of North America. The country is called Panem. There are twelve poor districts governed by the rich Capitol. The Capitol dominates the nation. Each district has to produce different things for the Capitol. District 12, where the story begins, provides all the coal for the country. There used to be a thirteenth district in the past but they rebelled against the Capitol and were destroyed.

The Hunger Games are an annual event. The Capitol uses them to punish the districts for rebelling. One boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 are chosen from each district to fight in a battle, in which only one person can survive. The chosen teenagers are called “tributes”. The whole country is forced to watch the games on television.

The heroine is Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old girl. Her father worked in the mine but he died in an accident and now she has to provide food for her family. She hunts in the woods around district 12 with her friend Gale, using a bow and arrow. When her younger sister, Prim, is chosen as one of the tributes, Katniss volunteers to go instead. The other tribute from District 12 is a boy named Peeta.

Where did the idea for The Hunger Games come from?

One night in 2003, Suzanne Collins was changing between channels on TV. It was at the time of the US invasion of Iraq. The only programmes she could find on TV were ‘reality’ programmes of young people competing to win a million dollars and news programmes about the war. Suzanne says that the two things started to merge together in her mind and the idea for The Hunger Games came to her. She has always found news programmes of wars upsetting. When she was a child, her father was a pilot in the US Air Force and he fought in Vietnam. It was a very frightening experience for her.

Another important inspiration for the book comes from Suzanne’s love of Greek mythology. When she was a child, one of her favourite stories was Theseus and the Minotaur. In this story the city of Athens is ruled by Crete, but the Athenians rebel. As a punishment, Minos the king of Crete forces the Athenians to send seven boys and seven girls to Crete every year. The young people are thrown into the labyrinth and eaten by a monster that lives there called the Minotaur. But one of the youths, named Theseus, fights the Minotaur and kills it.

Too much violence?

As The Hunger Games has become more popular, some parents in the US have complained about the violence in the book. However,  Suzanne says that she was becoming very worried about how much violence we see on TV nowadays. She wanted to show people where this could end up in the future. She is also concerned about the amount of reality TV we watch. “We put too much of our lives on TV,” she says. “And we are becoming desensitised because of this. It’s OK not to care about a sitcom, but when it’s real tragedy, that’s different. It’s real life and it’s not going to go away when the advertisements come on.” She said that writing about the deaths and violence in the story was the hardest thing for her to do and she hopes it will make people think about what they watch in future.

Brendan Dunne


Have you read any good books recently?

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ClarisseC's picture
ClarisseC 10 March, 2018 - 11:51

Yes of course, now I am reading the last volume of the Hunger Games saga. What I enjoy in this story is that, there is a lot of action and twists. You never get bored ! I found it really interesting to know how the author invented her story and what inspired her. I also think that Katniss may be a source of inspiration for us because she defends her ideas and she doesn't care about what people think about her. Fortunately, my best friend advised me to read these books, otherwise I will be missing something.

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jnadhilak21's picture
jnadhilak21 23 March, 2017 - 15:16

yeah, of course. i read critical eleven book-ika natassa recently. but the genre is romance. i like this book because it's different with the other book. the plot is amazing. however, i still confused why ika natassa can make me falling in love with this one book

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justNaNa's picture
justNaNa 18 December, 2014 - 15:13

I have read ,, The traveling pants'' and it was a good book , but ,,The wuthering hights'' was better. I love both of them .

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adeleB's picture
adeleB 13 October, 2014 - 20:33

Yes, I have. I love reading. I like every books I ever read. I read The Hunger Games, too. It is fantastic.

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AzulM's picture
AzulM 22 July, 2014 - 17:39

I have read the series of "The Hunger Games". I didn´t love it too much as other persons but I liked. And I saw the first film, I will see the second soon. I love read, my currently reading is the first book of "The Lord of the Rings".

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WilsonSmith's picture
WilsonSmith 25 September, 2013 - 07:03

This site is excellent and so is how the subject matter was explained. I also like some of the comments too. Waiting for the next post!!!!!

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 27 September, 2013 - 02:38

Hi WilsonSmith. Thanks a lot for your kind comment and we hope you keep visiting and finding more pages that you like. :)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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MagentaUnicorn's picture
MagentaUnicorn 13 August, 2013 - 19:54

I haven't read the book but I watched the film and I loved it!
I really love reading books...but the bad thing is that if I read a book and after I watch the film based on it I get so dissapointed, I don't know why but books make it much more magical than films most of the imagination flyies while I'm reading.

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Ahtram's picture
Ahtram 31 May, 2013 - 13:05

I LOVE reading... I like ' The Hunger Games', but I think that the first part of the trilogy was the best...
Any good books? Of course, Ursula Le Guin and her The Earthsea Trilogy, Der Traum von Troja ( in German, by Henry Stoll ) and ' The Lord Of The Rings' - J.R.R Tolkien :))

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otarsichinava's picture
otarsichinava 24 May, 2013 - 08:27

recently i read book of Dale Breckenridge Carnegie . books name is How to Win Friends and Influence People.

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mary_me5's picture
mary_me5 24 April, 2013 - 21:03

Yes of course. i love reading very much. But i don't have much free time to read them and i am so worried about it. I've recently read Stefan Zweig's novels. I love this novelist very much. His novels have a big influence on me .

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Nika C's picture
Nika C 18 April, 2013 - 09:01

Yes of course. The book name is Fast forward:Ethics and Politics in the age of of Global warming. It is so interesting

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fatmira n's picture
fatmira n 1 April, 2013 - 12:33

yes i read books especialy in winter...Last week i finished reading THE HEART
Now i am reading another books
I like it because there are interesting thing

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taty's picture
taty 15 March, 2013 - 21:04

actually no , but i am going to buy that book i watched the movie and i decided to get the book

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MartinaaS's picture
MartinaaS 28 November, 2012 - 13:22

Last month I finished reading "The Shadow of the Wind", by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Whole story is very complicated, because it's like Babushka doll: Every story told by one character carries the other story told by another character. Everything starts in Barcelona, and the year is 1945. Young boy Daniel wakes one dawn realising that he can't remember his mother's face. Daniel's mother died when he was only 4 years old. That dawn, his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, huge secret library. There, he finds a book that he has never heard of before, written by author who was completely unknown: The Shadow Of The Wind, by Julian Carax. As Daniel's life goes on, he discovers the mistery of young Carax, his conections with powerful Aldaya family and strange bond that conects Julian with Daniel himself. This is a book worth of every single second I spent reading it, and I would really reccomend it to you.

" And keep your dreams. You never know when you might need them. "- Miquel Moliner

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LadyBookworm's picture
LadyBookworm 25 September, 2012 - 00:04

Yes! Reading is my drug!
I have read "A thousand Splendid Suns" and I cried a lot... Poor Mariam!
I liked this book. It's a sorrowful story, but it's good for us to know about sad stories too. There are a lot of people who think books have to show only fiction, always fluffy unicorns or such a fictional thought that you can't even believe for a minute, but books are here to open our eyes to the reality.

"... In the books we can find all that exists, often in colors most authentic, truthful and without the pain of all that exists. Between life and books, my child, choose the books."
The book of Chameleons - José Eduardo Agualusa

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Sweet Raspberry's picture
Sweet Raspberry 24 July, 2012 - 22:27

Yes I have. I love read. But I stopped read so much, I don't know why...

But I am reading a book called:
"Snow white and the hunstman", and after I read I want to see the movie, because the book was writenn by the film.

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