The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
TEEN BOOK CLUB KIT
The Hunger Games
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place. This title is recommended for ages 7 and up.
Genre: Science Fiction, Survival Skills, Dystopian Fiction
2008 American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
2008 CYBIL Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy
5 Copies of The Hunger Games
1 Audio Book Copy of The Hunger Games* (9 CDs)
1 copy of Wilderness Survival Handbook by Michael Pewtherer
1 Discussion Guide. This discussion guide contains discussion questions, activities and other information to foster discussion of this book. You will also find information on starting and running a book club, earning a scout badge, and other information. You may make copies of any of these materials. Please do not write on these materials and return all pages, books, and contents of this kit.
*A downloadable audio version of The Hunger Games is available to check out and download at www.ebtpl.org.
If you liked The Hunger Games, you might like these books:
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Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
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Maze Runner by James Dashner
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Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Just think about and respond thoughtfully. Please share your own group’s discussion questions and comments by emailing email@example.com. Be sure to check the library’s teen pages at www.btpl.org for additional questions and comments from other book groups.
Teen Patron Submitted Questions:
What were your initial impressions of this book? Had you heard about it prior to reading the book? Did it meet your expectations?
What were your impressions of Katniss? What qualities does she have that make her someone you would root for? What are her strengths and weaknesses?
Who was your favorite character in the novel and why?
How do Katniss and the other tributes act differently knowing they are on camera during the games?
This book has become very popular and was even made into a movie, why do you think this trilogy has become so popular? In your opinion, does it warrant all of the accolades it receives? Are there other dystopian novels that you think are better than Hunger Games?
Would you recommend this book to your friends? Why or why not?
Random House Publisher's Discussion Questions:
1. How does Katniss feel about the country of Panem? Why does she need to make her face “an indifferent mask” and be careful what she says in public?
2. Describe the relationships of Katniss with Gale, with Prim, with her mother. How do those relationships define her personality? Why does she say about Peeta, “I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people.” How does her early encounter with Peeta affect their relationship after they are chosen as tributes?
3. How does the fact that the tributes are always on camera affect their behavior from the time they are chosen? Does it make it easier or harder for them to accept their fate? How are the “career tributes” different from the others?
4. Why are the “tributes” given stylists and dressed so elaborately for the opening ceremony? Does this ceremony remind you of events in our world, either past or present? Compare those ceremonies in real life to the one in the story.
5. When Peeta declares his love for Katniss in the interview, does he really mean it or did Haymitch create the “star-crossed lovers” story? What does Haymitch mean when he says, “It’s all a big show. It’s all how you’re perceived.” Why do they need to impress sponsors and what are those sponsors looking for when they are watching the Games?
6. Before the Games start, Peeta tells Katniss, “…I want to die as myself…I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not.” What does this tell you about Peeta? What does he fear more than death? Is he able to stay true to himself during the Games?
7. Why does Katniss ignore Haymitch’s advice to head directly away from the Cornucopia? Did she do the right thing to fight for equipment? What are the most important skills she has for staying alive – her knowledge of nature? – her skill with bow and arrow? – her trapping ability? What qualities of her personality keep her going – her capacity for love? – her intelligence? – her self-control?
8. Why does Peeta join with the Career Tributes in the beginning of the Games? What does he hope to gain? Why do they accept him when they start hunting as a group? Why do groups form in the beginning when they know only one of them will be able to survive?
9. What makes Katniss and Rue trust each other to become partners? What does Katniss gain from this friendship besides companionship? Is Katniss and Rue’s partnership formed for different reasons than the other group’s?
10. Discuss the ways in which the Gamemakers control the environment and “entertainment” value of the Games. How does it affect the tributes to know they are being manipulated to make the Games more exciting for the gamblers and viewers? Does knowing that she is on live TV make Katniss behave differently than she would otherwise?
11. When does Katniss first realize that Peeta does care for her and is trying to keep her alive? When does she realize her own feelings for him? Did Haymitch think all along that he could keep them both alive by stressing the love story? Are they actually in love?
12. What do you think is the cruelest part of the Hunger Games? What kind of people would devise this spectacle for the entertainment of their populace? Can you see parallels between these Games and the society that condones them, and other related events and cultures in the history of the world?
13. In 1848, Karl Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Discuss this statement as it applies to the society and government of Panem. Do you believe there is any chance to eradicate class struggles in the future?
14. Reality TV has been a part of the entertainment world since the early days of television (with shows such as “Candid Camera” and the “Miss America Pageant”), but in the 21st century there has been a tremendous growth of competitive shows and survival shows. Discuss this phenomenon with respect to The Hunger Games. What other aspects of our popular culture do you see reflected in this story?