Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A list of most popular books in a High School library must include the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. It is easy to read, gripping, thrilling, action packed and empowering. It takes survival, reality tv, death, murder, blood & gore to a teenage level and they love it. This is a generation who had Play Station for breakfast and were clocking R16 games by the time they were 11. Like it or not, they seem to be able to absorb the violence and hook into the survival, rebellion, romance and success. They like that they haven’t been underestimated or protected. Reality is like that, you have to face up to what life throws at you and do your best, whether it is in a home with violence, hunger and neglect or bullying at school, Katiniss faces her reality in a different setting.
I do realize that there are plenty of holes in the story and that is dodgy to lure kids into reading a book about the government forcing kids to kill other kids for entertainment. That doesn’t stop my readers from loving it. The library has ten copies that have been issued to 98 separate borrowers, the second Catching Fire 75 and the final installment The Mockingjay 48 times. With just over 200 students, that makes the hit rate nearly 50%. Interestingly even those who see the movie are coming in to read the book, where as with Twilight and Harry Potter most of the non-readers just kept up with the play at the movies.
It is violent, it isn’t the best written book and we all hope the future is brighter. My job is to hook kids into reading and help them find pleasure and success in it. In the same way all other departments in the school are trying to create positive learning experiences, I will use all the ammunition available to me and The Hunger Games is going off like fireworks in my library and spreading like wildfire. I’m not going to argue with that.
P.S. I loved the series and many parents of my readers have too!