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Should I read the Hunger Games?

Should I read the Hunger Games even if I'm not into futuristic Sci-Fi novels? Is this a good book for all students?


I would definitely read "The Hunger Games". I will admit I have only watched the movie, but I purchased it and watch it often. I love the part when he says "if I'm going to die, I just want to be me." He didn't want to die being changed by something negatively. I love her putting down her own life for her sister. That is love. She perseveres. She also helps another competitor still knowing only one will survive. In the end, they both show them they don't control their fate. A higher power and free will controls their fate! 

Dear Phyllis,
It would be easier to give a good answer if we knew your age, reading level and why you are asking. Most of the people I know with your name are over 40, so you could be somebody close to my age who doesn't normally read, is returning to school for a GED and needs a relatively easy book for a book report. For that person I would say, "yes, I really enjoyed the book, because--while the CONCEPT behind the games is horrible--the actions of the characters are very real and some of them quite noble. Katniss is a very believable teen, filled with insecurities that are balanced by her steely resolve to survive. Plus, she has a complicated family life that makes it hard to fit in wit her peers and conflicting feelings about the two boys in her life.
It's easier for adults to ABSORB the conflicts in the Hunger Games trilogy. (For example, my mother and I both cried over Katniss' sacrifice for her sister, while my 18-year-old step-daughter lost interest halfway through the second book.) It isn't that younger reader's can't GET the deeper meaning here, but--like with most literature--their lives are still relatively self centered, so it's difficult to relate to wanting someone else's safety or happiness more than your own.
Teens who have experienced personal loss or tragedy are much more likely to love these books. For others, it seems like a follow-the-crowd experience.

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Joe W. | Learning for a lifetime of success!Learning for a lifetime of success!

I would heartily recommend "The Hunger Games". As a fictional literary work it has the human element and life lessons throughout. Most very well regarded literary works all have this "Learned lesson" element that can be somewhat differently adaptive, or personal to each reader.

Your life experiences make these kinds of works slightly different for you than the next person. This is how spirited debate over a piece of writing can easily start...everyone is impacted a bit differently by the characters, their setting, even your particular mood when reading a great piece of writing that has these human elements such as fear, persuasion, love/hate, death/birth, fairness/politics etc.

Also, this is a currently popular series of writings. This and all of the reasons listed above point to a resounding YES! Do read the Hunger Games, and for that matter much more literary work. Good Literature is a treasure, and some pieces you will never forget after turning the last page.

Devin T. | Academic Writing, ESL, Humanities, Math & Science // K - CollegeAcademic Writing, ESL, Humanities, Math ...
5.0 5.0 (8 lesson ratings) (8)

Yes, you should. I found the Hunger Games trilogy to be an excellent piece of literature for several reasons. First, the book's primary strength lies in its portrayal of somewhat typical humans facing tremendously difficult circumstances as well as moral dilemmas. At numerous points the characters must weigh competing moral concerns such as promoting the greatest good or keeping one's promise. It also portrays sacrificing oneself for another as admirable, which I find a breath of fresh air in today's self-centered culture. Second, the books are very entertaining and hard to put down. My wife and I read the trilogy in about a week, as the moment we finished the first book, we drove to the bookstore to get the next. Personally, I'm not a huge "fiction" fan, and I try to be wise with my time, but these books were a blast to read and generated a lot of interesting discussions between my wife and I on human nature, morality, and politics. Third, the books are accessible for a wide range of audiences--both teens and adults will find them interesting. And lastly, considering their popularity in culture, it's good to know and be aware of what's going on and being valued by those around you. This will help you stay up to date and feel comfortable engaging others (including strangers) in conversations. 

Hope this helps, and enjoy the read!

Gina L. | Degreed & Fully Trained ESL Teacher - Other Subjects, Too!Degreed & Fully Trained ESL Teacher - Ot...
4.9 4.9 (23 lesson ratings) (23)
This is a GREAT book for students  - it opens the door to numerous discussions - utopia/dystopia, politics, economy, love, friendship, sacrifice, survival, equality, class-systems, segregation, and the list keeps going.
AND, what's even better, for a non-Sci-Fi person, it's still a wonderful read. The Sci-Fi is just setting and props, the issues are all about HUMANITY.
I was a non-sci-fi reader...but now I'm in the thick of the Ender's Game quintilogy and loving it.
So, yes, read it...share it!
Heidi A. | Author and publisher with a passion for music and historyAuthor and publisher with a passion for ...
5.0 5.0 (7 lesson ratings) (7)
I think that if you know enough about the story to think that you do not want to read it, then you should not. 
Don't get me wrong, I loved The Hunger Games, though I thought the movie was much better than the book (a rare occurrence in my world!) But you should not cave to societal pressure. The lessons that can be learned from Hunger Games can be learned by reading a dozen other books in a dozen other genres that might suit your interests better. 
My 4th grader wanted to read it because all of his friends were reading it, and although his comprehension level was up for the task, I had my reservations. I let him read it, and he hated it. It led to a lot of discussions about stuff he wasn't even ready to precess. Intellectually he comprehended the story, but emotionally he could not fathom such a "horrible" world where people would be so cruel to each other.
My 7th grader read it and thought it was cool, not able to grasp the deeper philosophical elements of the story.
You know yourself better than anyone. You know what interests you, and what level of violence, emotional content, etc. that you can handle.
Don't bow to societal pressure. Be yourself.  
Amber H. | Middle school math teacher for 8 years! (4-8 grades)Middle school math teacher for 8 years! ...
5.0 5.0 (7 lesson ratings) (7)
Honestly, if you have not read the book, I would read it.  I am almost 30 years old, I teach middle school students and have not found books that I love to read myself.  I could not put this book down.  I absolutely love the book.  I read the entire series in about 3 days.  I stayed up reading the books until about 1 am give or take because I work during the day.  However, you cannot judge a book based off of the movie.  To me, the books are always better than the movies because the directors and actors change the books to make them more appealing to the audience and some parts are left out.  However, you can choose to read a book based off of the movie.  Good Luck if you choose to read it!  I would also recommend the Divergent series; I just finished reading those and was also hooked!
Adrienne S. | ESL/English/Voice Teacher/ General Music TeacherESL/English/Voice Teacher/ General Music...

Hi, prior to recommending that you read Hunger Games I would find out what your reading level is and if you are interested in reading it. 

Tierra S. | General English Tutoring. Any Subject Between K-6.General English Tutoring. Any Subject Be...
I would definitely recommend it. I was up all night reading the book and could not put it down. It is a very good book and I do not believe the movie did it justice. 
Latasha D. | Highly Qualified English Language Arts Teacher and Writing CoachHighly Qualified English Language Arts T...
5.0 5.0 (6 lesson ratings) (6)

Yes! I join the common consensus that you should absolutely read this book. It was the first book we read for a newly formed book club at my high school and it far exceeded my expectations. The students were highly engaged in the novel and went on to read the remaining books in the series without any prompting.

As a bonus, we went to see the movie once it premiered, but the students preferred the book over the movie!

Felicia V. | Enthusiastic about your successEnthusiastic about your success

I would also agree with my counterparts.  I just graduated college and there was an English course being offered where students were required to read the Hunger Games and other literary works geared to our youth.  Keeping in mind that colleges are now offering courses that are taking into consideration popular interests, you will be ahead of the game and therefore well versed and prepared for possibly literature in college.  P.S. this class was packed with education majors i.e. future teachers :)!!!

Rita C. | Information Literacy Specialist - help available for any subjectInformation Literacy Specialist - help a...

The Hunger Games is an excellent book choice both because of the previously mentioned reasons, but also because it will give you insight into current popular culture and how it's dealing with relevant themes like political disenfranchisement and economic oppression.  I do notice you seem hesitant though.  If you want to try out the genera without committing to reading a trilogy, then I recommend Nancy Farmer's "The House of the Scorpion."  This book won several young adult literature awards, and explores some similar topics of oppression and the relative value of life.  

Wayne B. | Certified Tutor for English Lit, Composition (Writing), and GrammarCertified Tutor for English Lit, Composi...
5.0 5.0 (7 lesson ratings) (7)

Sure, there' s no reason not to--if you enjoy it, then great.  As they say, any reading is good reading.  I don't expect Hunger Games to be considered great literature (we really can't know that for at least a couple of decades), but that should be the least of your worries when choosing what to read.  If you like Ulysses, then read it; if you like Twilight, then read that.  Those book may represent two ends of the spectrum from a literature point of view, but you, the reader, get to decide what's "great" for you.

Debra P. | Tutor with Many Skill SetsTutor with Many Skill Sets
5.0 5.0 (387 lesson ratings) (387)

I would recommend "The Hunger Games" to all people that are middle school age and up.  Although it is considered a futuristic sci-fi book, I believe that it is much closer to the present day than most want to believe.  We may not go about it the same way as in the book, but the same moral, ethical and governmental issues are alive and well today.  It portrays human response and behavior under difficult conditions.  It also shows how the environment in which you live also shapes your decisions.  When I read the first book, my mind automatically brought me back to classic books like "1984," "Animal Farm," and "Lord of the Flies."  These books displayed the same kinds of issues and human responses as this book did.  In all honesty, I was introduced to this book when two of my children read it in middle school.  They were adamant I read it, so I did.  We have all three books at our house, and they have been read several times by all of us.  I get something new out of it every time I read it.  Strictly on the enjoyment level, it will keep you turning the page without wanting to stop until you are finished.  It is an excellent read on so many levels.

Brandy P. | Author avail. for history/English - VIRTUAL Tutoring prefferedAuthor avail. for history/English - VIRT...

I have heard both yes and no. I myself am not into futuristic Sci-fi and have not read it either. I actually have no desire to read it. However, I have heard that if you enjoyed Twilight this book is much, much better.

As an author I can tell you that we appreciate those that try out new genres. I thought I would HATE romance novels until Nora Roberts came along and changed the genre. Hated horror novels until I read Clive Barker. I say try it. If you don't like it, then you will know the answer, but if you do then you have a whole series of books to fill the rest of your summer.

Thomas D. | K-12 Minneapolis Public School Tutor, also Sub at Orthodox Jewish EleK-12 Minneapolis Public School Tutor, al...
4.4 4.4 (11 lesson ratings) (11)

 a firm believer in reading anything and everything. the more books that you read on a variety of subjects make you a more well rounded and intelligent person. You will find that you can relate to many more people, giving you more options in life. I admit I have read many books that I did not like, but have used having read them to relate to groups that I do not have a lot in common with, but needed to associate or work with. Having at least a few common points helped a lot.

Kayla S. | Dynamic and Fun; Let's learn together!Dynamic and Fun; Let's learn together!
5.0 5.0 (3 lesson ratings) (3)

To echo all of the previous answers, YES! you should read The Hunger Games. In fact, I was mesmerized by the entire trilogy.

Samantha N. | Samantha Nolte- Art, Dance, Writing, Study Habits and More!Samantha Nolte- Art, Dance, Writing, Stu...
4.9 4.9 (10 lesson ratings) (10)

I would definitely recommend The Hunger Games for students of all ages.  The setting--what appears to be a futuristic, possibly post-apocolyptic, country of Panem is not so far out there as to turn off those uninterested in space-faring, alien fighting science fiction.  But it does what great science fiction does--it makes us ask, "what if?" and pushes an idea to it's extreme in order to create not only a dynamic, fast paced story, but a space to talk about the themes found therein.  The Hunger Games has ready thematic connections to talk about historical events like the Gladiator Games in Rome, contemporary fascination with reality television, discussion of human nature, or a discussion of unlimited government.  Youthful readers and adults alike will, and have, found the book a captivating read not only for the action, and the strong female main character (there aren't enough of them out their in juvenile fiction!) but for the multilayered connections the book makes between the reader and the contemporary world currently around them.  This book did for me what books like The Giver and The City of Ember (the whole Trilogy) did--they make the familiar strange allowing us to see those things from a new perspective.  

Naomi K. | Friendly and Patient English TutorFriendly and Patient English Tutor

I think that The Hunger Games is a well-written and dynamic book. It engages you immediately and takes you for a ride, leaving you so breathless with anticipation throughout that you'll breathe a sigh of relief when you finish.  It's a great read to improves one's reading, writing, and vocabulary as it is truly a book you cannot put down until you've reached the end.  However, (there's always a but!) I found it to be a disturbing book on many levels and felt physically unwell while reading the graphic descriptions of children's deaths.   I find it highly inappropriate that this book is on school reading lists as it contains extreme violence and graphic murders, all at the hands of innocent children.   I think the author is a creative and talented writer, but I do think her somewhat mentally disturbed and would not encourage young people to read her books.

Lauren C. | English Professor Offering Help With Literature, Writing, and TestingEnglish Professor Offering Help With Lit...

Yes, absolutely read The Hunger Games. I'm typically not a fan of the SciFi genre myself, but this series is certainly does not fit the typical SciFi mold. It's true that the setting is a dystopian future in a war-torn world, but aside from that the series is simply an exciting read that deals well with overcoming tragedy and the power of perseverance. Although the trilogy is classified as Young Adult (YA), I would recommend this book series to all age groups. The main characters are teenagers, but the books touch on many adult themes and will keep you talking about them for days. Enjoy!

Diana M. | Spanish Language Instructor, Elementary/ Adult ESL /Literacy TeacherSpanish Language Instructor, Elementary/...

I believe you should read the Hunger Games. Collins writing is less indulging, in which young readers absolutely love. The details are very minimal, and her dialogue is crisp, brilliant, and quick witted. You should always try to read different literary genres, and if futuristic Sci-fi is not your "cup of tea" after you have read some of the literature, then perhaps you should move on to something you actually enjoy. But, with that said, not all novels are written the same. The writers style has a lot to do with how the reader likes the story line. Collins writing style is different from other writers. So, maybe you would enjoy more than others. 

Lisa W. | Lisa W. - Energetic Tutor in Minneapolis SuburbsLisa W. - Energetic Tutor in Minneapolis...
4.2 4.2 (5 lesson ratings) (5)

I would recommend you read the Hunger Games. I am also not a huge fan of sci-fi or futuristic fiction, especially dystopian like the Hunger Games, but I actually enjoyed the Hunger Games. The book has a lot of action which keeps the story moving. It also has very important themes built into it, however, the way that the story is told does not force these themes on you. They really are a part of the story. It is a great series to read, even if you don't like science fiction.

Salvador L. | Social Studies and Citizenship Test Tutor de Prueba de CiudadaniaSocial Studies and Citizenship Test Tuto...

Yes it is a good book for all students. It is now being used as a reader for the whole class in many schools.