The Hunger Games 101

I’m so excited. The Hunger Games movie based on the first book of Suzanne Collins’ best selling trilogy is hitting theaters this Friday. Having devoured all three books last year, I can’t wait to see director Gary Ross’ vision of this amazing story. But if you don’t know anything about The Hunger Games, here are a few good things to know before you go see the movie.

What’s the setting?
Set in the future, in country called Panem (which you later realize used to be the United States of America) has been divided up into twelve districts, located outside the Capitol (there used to be thirteen districts, but District 13 rebelled against the Capitol and was destroyed). District 12 is the poorest district of them all.

What are the Hunger Games?

Every year two tributes (one girl and one boy, ages twelve to eighteen) from each of the twelve districts are chosen to participate in The Hunger Games, a to-the-death arena game the Capitol uses to keep the districts in line.  The Hunger Games are kind of like Thunderdome, except twenty-four enter and only one leaves.  Did I mention that it’s all televised and everyone is forced to watch the tributes in their district compete? After the games are over, the Capitol rewards the winner’s district with food every month until the next Hunger Games, hence the name. It has been years since District 12 has had a winner in the Hunger Games, and they have only had two winner since the Hunger Games began. Needless to say, District 12 is the laughing stock of Panem.

How do you get to be a tribute?
There is a “reaping” where one girl’s name and one boy’s name is drawn (kind of reminiscent of the Shirley Jackson story “The Lottery.”) You can also volunteer as tribute, which is what Katniss Everdeen from District 12 does when her twelve-year-old sister’s name is drawn at the reaping.

What do you get when a defiant, independent sixteen-year-old (who is an expert archer but has a problem with authority) becomes a tribute? Threatened Gamemakers, jealous tributes, an angry President, an interesting love triangle, a game forever changed, and perhaps even a revolution.


Don’t forget to check out your local Half Price Books to pick up copies of The Hunger Games and its sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. You should be able to find them in the Bestsellers, Current Publications, or Teen Fiction sections of the store. When in doubt, ask an HPB Bibliomaniac for help.

And for those of you who are already fans of The Hunger Games books, it might ease your mind to know that author Suzanne Collins also worked on the screenplay for the movie.

So, now that we’re all excited. Let me know what you think of the new Hunger Games movie. And keep on reading books… especially before they become movies.

— Julie

One thought on “The Hunger Games 101

  1. I luuuuuuuuuuuuv the hunger games movie. except gale has a really big nose and josh hutcherson looks wierd blonde 2 me. i cant wait 2 read the book.

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