Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hunger Games Trilogy

I've fought the urge to write about The Hunger Games trilogy for quite some time.  With most of my posts I'm really hoping to persuade someone to read the books, but, honestly, if you haven't read The Hunger Games by now no one could make you.  However, I can't resist telling my Hunger Games story any longer.

A few years ago, our school made drastic changes to its schedule, which aligned me with some wonderful ladies who had read The Hunger Games and were convinced we could teach almost every standard in our curriculum with this book.  Not having read it at the time, I will admit that I was a bit skeptical, but I went with it.  Then, I read the book, and I nearly lost my mind.  I couldn't wait to share this with my students; I couldn't wait for the next installment (that's right people, we loved Katniss and Peeta before they were cool!), and I couldn't wait to tell everyone I knew to read this book.

Then the time came to share the book with the students.  And, they felt the same way I did.  I had never had this experience.  They begged to read.  They snuck and read in their science class.  They made comic strips of how they thought things should look.  They made Facebook pages for the tributes.  By the way, these were not their assignments, just ways they expressed their love.  And so, we've kept the unit going three years strong.  Because the book is so popular, we accommodate for those who have read it by offering other dystopia for them to read as we go.  This year we incorporated Matched, Divergent, Awaken, and Enclave.  Next year, we'll try for more.

But, my point is with the right text nearly everyone is a reader.  Each time we've used this book with our classes, I have had a student tell me this is the first book he/she has ever read.  Usually, that admission is followed by asking to be on the waiting list for Catching Fire.  I've seen this book capture the heart of the kid who reads well above grade level as well as those who read far below.  It's the content and the delivery that make this so special.

The poster; be jealous!
Now with the movie 39 days away, the excitement in my classroom continues (even though we finished reading it in November).  Not a day goes by that someone doesn't come into the room and announce how many days until the big event.  A sweet student brought me a movie poster to hang in our room.  One of the biggest "thugs" in the school begs to watch the trailer because he can't contain his love for Katniss.  Obviously, a field trip to the movie is in the works.  So, if you've been holding out, give yourself the gift of these books, then share them with someone.

If you would like a real review instead of testimony, click here.  And may the odds be ever in your favor!

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