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The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

Published by Scholastic Press, 2008
420 pages
ISBN: 9780439023481

Age 12 and older

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This gripping novel is set in the future, in a time when North America is called Panem. The country has been divided into twelve districts, each with a special function. Katniss is a sixteen-year-old girl from District 12, the poorest area. Since her father died in a coal mining accident, it has fallen on her to provide for her family, which she does by crossing a fence into an off-limits area to hunt small game and gather edible plants. There’s a tradition in Panem: Each year two teens between the ages of twelve and eighteen are selected by a lottery system to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised reality show in which contestants must not only survive in the wild but fight to the death. Katniss is one of the “tributes” from District 12, and the survival skills she has developed will serve her well in the competition. But will she have the heart to kill the other contestants? This first volume in a trilogy that promises intense emotion and fast-paced action probes the realities of a corrupt political system built on secrecy and fear, the ethics of reality television and blood sports, and the lengths human beings will go to in order to survive.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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