Monday, March 15, 2010

Catching Fire

Collins, Suzanne. 2009. CATCHING FIRE. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780439023498 [Suggested Grade Levels 7- 12]


In this sequel to THE HUNGER GAMES, Katniss Everdeen finds herself at odds with Peeta, unable to contain her feelings for Gale, and at the hub of an uprising resulting from her Hunger Games win. When she is forced to return to the Games with Peeta for the deadly Third Quarter Quell, a 75th anniversary celebration where the fighters are reaped from the victor’s pool, she vows to do everything possible to save Peeta. The backstory about the increasingly strict government regulations takes up the first part of the book.

Unwittingly, Katniss’ behavior after winning the Hunger Games has triggered uprisings in other districts, forcing the Capitol to tighten restrictions within the districts and mete out cruel punishments on those who disobey. When Katniss is again chosen, she finds herself in the ring, fighting for her life so she can help Peeta. Yet odd events continue to occur during the fight, and in the final battle, Katniss is surprised to find that everything has changed and that it happened without her knowledge. This sets the stage for the third book of the trilogy.


Compare the economics of the “haves” and “have-nots” in Panem to current real-world situations. A discussion or debate of the topic of individual rights versus government needs stems naturally from the book.


Other books for teens about dystopian societies:

Cashore, Kristin. GRACELING. ISBN 9780547258300

Dashner, James. THE MAZE RUNNER. ISBN 9780385737944

By Shirley Duke

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