Having posted a review of the “Hunger Games” books, I thought that you might be interested in some of the discussion that it provoked.
“Katie” wrote, “Thanks, Carrie. Your impressions confirmed my suspicions.”
“Shonya” wrote, “Hunger Games, hmmmmm. I read the series in the Fall of 2010, but will share a few thoughts as I remember them.
1) I would definitely not recommend parents allow a child to read the series without having read it themself first.
2) I would not recommend it under age 14ish, depending on the child, possibly even older or never.
3) Its merit, in my opinion, is as a dystopian novel and from a literature discussion standpoint. It will remind the reader of classics such as “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, “The Most Dangerous Game” (forgetting the author of this short story and don’t feel like looking it up, ha!), and the novel “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. In fact, I would (and did) require a reading of this literature as a prerequisite to The Hunger Games trilogy. The books are thought-provoking and worth discussing from this standpoint, imho, not as a “free reading” or fad. There are themes such as freedom, big government, blindly following tradition, the sanctity of life and so forth–if read and discussed from a Christian worldview, it can be beneficial.
4) These books are brutal. I mean that word with every connotation that it has. It is definitely not for the sensitive reader. I am not a sensitive reader–you might call me “desensitized”. My children have received much more direction in their reading choices than I did.
5) Having said all this, my 16yod has not read them. She is a sensitive reader and it just doesn’t seem like a good idea to her or to me. My 14 yos recently read them. He did not like them. Oh, the characterization and plot captured him at first so he read them quickly as he wanted to know what happened. But in the end, he does not recommend them and I sense he is even a little put out with me for encouraging/allowing him to read them. Even as a “farm kid” who is not sensitive or faint-of-heart, he thought it was heartless and brutal and he thought there was more focus on the boy/girl relationships than there needed to be. He has no desire to see the movie–he expects it to be sexualized and graphically violent. I expect he is right.
“Linda” wrote, “I appreciate both Carrie’s husband’s and Shonya’s reviews of this series. I had already decided that The Hunger Games wasn’t appropriate for my children and these reviews support my opinion. ”
“Denise” wrote, “Hello, All! I was not following the thread on the reading until I saw Hunger Games pop up. I have not read nor intend to read them myself, but was aware of their increasing popularity. I do not speak as an ‘expert’ or one who thinks she has made all the right decisions, nor one with perfect children. Just a few thoughts on reading:
First, we need to do a good job as they are younger of guiding them by selecting excellent reading to share with them, and then by setting an example ourselves. Give them an appetite for good literature. The Italians have an expression: “Appetite comes with the eating.”
Secondly, as they grow older, we need to ‘loosen the reigns’ and begin to let them select their own reading material. That is the whole point isn’t it, of our instruction, is to teach them to make decisions? It happens little by little, and I’m sure with some mistakes along the way; ours and theirs!
Thirdly, the process and timing may be different with each of our children. There are no hard and fast rules here, but a discerning parent will know each of his children and take his or her character and maturity into account.
It is a joy now that most of my children are adults and we are able to discuss and share reading material. They are making recommendations to their parents. 🙂 Not that I share all their tastes or choices, but then, we are all unique. They are no longer answerable to me, but to God. Not that I don’t let them know what I think! lol Guess my kids are never in
doubt there. 🙂
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.
“Ellyn” wrote, “Thanks, Shonya, and the others who reviewed these for us. I really appreciate all the insight.”
More to follow.