I have a separate blog for book reviews but I have a book I would like to talk about. It seems that the entire world is talking about Hunger Games. I finished reading it last night. For the most part I liked the story. The characters and plot are well written; however, I think the story did not benefit from children killing each other. The theme of death could have been handled without murder.
When I posted this comment on my Facebook page, “Am I the only person on the planet that thinks there is something wrong with 24 children killing each other in a novel that is promoted as a young adult must read?” I received varying responses, but for the most part everyone seems to like the book.
Val, a middle school teacher responded to my post with this comment,
“Violence that they see in most movies and video games does not relate to them. At 13 they aren’t fighting a war or zombies etc-it isn’t realistic to them. However, putting them into a world where it is killed or be killed because their government demands it for both punishment and entertainment makes it real. It has also opened some of their eyes to the political maelstrom going on in our country, and they see how the world of Panem could happen. Their comments to me don’t glorify the violence; they are more freaked out by the reality of it.”
That got me to thinking, children need to be “freaked out”. They are disengaged from reality by all sorts of things, video games, movies, so-called reality TV that is not really real. I responded to Val, ” I see. I like that they are tuned in and “freaked out” by the reality. Too many kids are tuned out.” Also, they should be involved in the ” political maelstrom ” in some way. They will be the voters of the future.
I am still certain that the story could have been just as effective if the tributes died from starvation, sickness, or wild animal attack, which did happen in the story . The element of death is convincing and challenging without adding the element of child on child violence. If the Hunger Games book or movie engages kids in politics, condition of world peace, violence prevention, overall doing good deeds for others, and gets them to consider what happens in reality, then I could be a fan.