While written with a young adult audience in mind, The Hunger Games is incredibly appealing for adults as well. Set in a futuristic North America where merely surviving the day is an achievement, The Hunger Games sets the stage for a struggle that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Sixteen year old Katniss, called Catnip by her best friend Gale, learned how ruthless life can be from an early age. Forced to become the main provider of sustenance for her mother and sister, she has developed skills that will be essential for her survival as her life takes a turn towards disaster.
The twelve districts are punished each year, for rebelling against the Central government decades ago, by being forced to sacrifice two of their children to the Hunger Games. When young Prim's name is pulled, Katniss quickly acts to substitute herself for her young sister. The boy from the district that will face the challenges with her is the baker's boy, Peeta. He showed a kindness to Katniss years ago that she has always felt obligated to repay. Now with their lives hanging in the balance, she may just get her wish.
Katniss knows that she will face starvation, thirst and 23 others who want to see her dead once they reach the arena. The Gamekeepers ensure that only one survivor will remain even if it means forcing the contestants together by any means necessary. Slighter than many of the others, Katniss will need skills learned in the forest with Gale to make it to the end. Their mentor works out a plan, encouraging Peeta and Katniss to appear to be in love, with the hopes that it will help them secure the rich sponsors they will need during the upcoming struggle. In the end, no matter what they feel for each other, they realize that they cannot both come out of the ordeal alive.
Internationally best-selling author Suzanne Collins has been writing for children in some capacity since 1991. She started out in television programming for children, and was convinced to delve into writing books for them by fellow author James Proimos. Born in Connecticut in 1962; her father was an Air Force officer moving the family frequently throughout the eastern part of the country. She graduated with majors in Telecommunications and Drama from Indiana University, and has worked on shows for the popular children's network Nickelodeon. Collins resides in Connecticut with her husband and children.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to appear in an annual televised event called “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change, but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. There can only be one winner.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death before, and survival is second nature for her. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity—and life against love.
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