The Hunger Games

written by Suzanne Collins

reviewed by Simone Rogers, age 16

The Hunger Games, the first in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins, is a futuristic fictional account of Panem, post-apocalyptic version of North America.
In the book the country is divided into 12 districts, each of which contributes two children, called tributes, to compete to the death in the annual Hunger Games.  The tributes must be between twelve and eighteen years of age, and must participate in a televised battle for survival. The purpose of the game is for the Capital, which is the central government, to assert control over the districts.
During the games, the tributes are placed in an environment controlled by the capital’s computers. The environment is engineered to put the tributes in danger. The plot centers on the tributes from district 12, Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen. Katniss’s younger sister, Primrose, is picked to represent her district in the Hunger Games. But Katniss, not wanting to watch her sister fight, volunteers, and takes her place, putting herself in danger instead.  There can only be one winner. This person wins prize money and brings glory to their district.
The two tributes endure many challenges as they try to win the game. Sometimes they have to forage for food to survive, and some days they must go without. Nearly half the tributes are killed on the first day. The tributes soon realize that they must hide from one another. While fighting for survival, the tributes have to look appealing to the sponsors so food, medicine, and tools will be sent to them. They learn how little control they have over their own lives as they see what their government can do.
I believe most teens will enjoy this fascinating story. I recommend this book to anyone. Once you start reading it, you won’t be able to put it down.