The Hunger Games Trilogy Reading Group Guide (PDF)

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ABOUT THE AUTHORThe Hunger Games begins with 16-yearold Katniss and her friend Gale huntingin the woods around their impoverishedDistrict 12. When her younger sisterPrim is chosen to be a “tribute” in theannual “reaping,” Katniss volunteersto go to the Games in her place, alongwith Peeta, the baker’s son. Once in theGames, Katniss must marshal all herskills to stay alive. In the end she outwitsthe Capitol by attempting a doublesuicide, which forces Capitol leaders toallow both her and Peeta to live.catching fireIn Catching Fire, Katniss has become asymbol of defiance. It’s now the QuarterQuell, the 75th anniversary Games. Every25 years the Capitol devises a new twist,and this year the tributes will be chosenfrom the victors of previous Games.Katniss is thrown into the arena oncemore with Peeta, but again she managesto thwart the Capitol’s plans andescapes—but Peeta is taken prisoner.mockingjayIn Mockingjay, Katniss becomes the faceof a full-scale rebellion in TV “propos”(propaganda movies) filmed by therebels. Determined to be the one tokill President Snow, Katniss once againfinds herself in an arena—only this onerepresents a life or death struggle forthe entire society. Katniss faces criticalchoices: Whom should she trust? Whatshould her role be? Do ends justifymeans? What is right and wrong? Whattruths must she follow?Photo credit: Todd PlittThe Hunger GamesAuthor Suzanne Collinsremembers in third gradereading the story ofTheseus, in which KingMinos of Crete demandedthat Athens periodicallysend seven boys and sevengirls to be thrown in theLabyrinth and sacrificedto the Minotaur. “Even as a third grader,”she says, “I could appreciate the ruthlessnessof this message. Mess with us and we’ll dosomething worse than kill you. We’ll killyour children.” Suzanne was also fascinatedby gladiator movies. The idea for The HungerGames came to Suzanne when she waschannel surfing between reality TV showsand actual war coverage.READING GROUP GUIDETHEHUNGERGAMESTRilogySuzanne Collins has had a prolific careerwriting for children’s television. She firstmade her mark in children’s literature withthe New York Times bestselling series TheUnderland Chronicles. In The Hunger Games,Collins continues to explore the effects ofwar and violence on those coming of age. Ina starred review, Publishers Weekly describedthe final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, as “abeautifully orchestrated and intelligent novelthat succeeds on every level.” Collins liveswith her family in Connecticut.“I was so obsessed withthis book.”—Stephenie Meyer, author of theTwilight Saga“I couldn’t stop reading addictive.”—Stephen King,Entertainment WeeklyHC: 978-0-439-02348-1PB: 978-0-439-02352-8“Brilliantly plotted andperfectly paced.”Catching Fire978-0-439-02349-8978-0-439-02351-1Also available as audiobooks and as eBooks.A more detailed discussion guide is available atwww.scholastic.com/thehungergamesSCHOLASTIC Scholastic Inc.In a future with unsettling parallelsto our present, the nation ofPanem consists of an all-powerfulCapitol, surrounded by 12 oppressedDistricts that provide all its needs.Just as the Romans gave theirpopulation “panem et circenses”—bread and circuses—to controlthem by keeping them entertained,so has the Capitol devised theHunger Games, a survival contest onlive TV in which teenagers fight tothe death.CRITICAL ACCLAIM FORTHE HUNGER GAMESThe Hunger GamesMockingjayABOUT THE BOOKSSUZANNECOLLINS—The New York Times

ABOUT THE AUTHORThe Hunger Games begins with 16-yearold Katniss and her friend Gale huntingin the woods around their impoverishedDistrict 12. When her younger sisterPrim is chosen to be a “tribute” in theannual “reaping,” Katniss volunteersto go to the Games in her place, alongwith Peeta, the baker’s son. Once in theGames, Katniss must marshal all herskills to stay alive. In the end she outwitsthe Capitol by attempting a doublesuicide, which forces Capitol leaders toallow both her and Peeta to live.catching fireIn Catching Fire, Katniss has become asymbol of defiance. It’s now the QuarterQuell, the 75th anniversary Games. Every25 years the Capitol devises a new twist,and this year the tributes will be chosenfrom the victors of previous Games.Katniss is thrown into the arena oncemore with Peeta, but again she managesto thwart the Capitol’s plans andescapes—but Peeta is taken prisoner.mockingjayIn Mockingjay, Katniss becomes the faceof a full-scale rebellion in TV “propos”(propaganda movies) filmed by therebels. Determined to be the one tokill President Snow, Katniss once againfinds herself in an arena—only this onerepresents a life or death struggle forthe entire society. Katniss faces criticalchoices: Whom should she trust? Whatshould her role be? Do ends justifymeans? What is right and wrong? Whattruths must she follow?Photo credit: Todd PlittThe Hunger GamesAuthor Suzanne Collinsremembers in third gradereading the story ofTheseus, in which KingMinos of Crete demandedthat Athens periodicallysend seven boys and sevengirls to be thrown in theLabyrinth and sacrificedto the Minotaur. “Even as a third grader,”she says, “I could appreciate the ruthlessnessof this message. Mess with us and we’ll dosomething worse than kill you. We’ll killyour children.” Suzanne was also fascinatedby gladiator movies. The idea for The HungerGames came to Suzanne when she waschannel surfing between reality TV showsand actual war coverage.READING GROUP GUIDETHEHUNGERGAMESTRilogySuzanne Collins has had a prolific careerwriting for children’s television. She firstmade her mark in children’s literature withthe New York Times bestselling series TheUnderland Chronicles. In The Hunger Games,Collins continues to explore the effects ofwar and violence on those coming of age. Ina starred review, Publishers Weekly describedthe final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, as “abeautifully orchestrated and intelligent novelthat succeeds on every level.” Collins liveswith her family in Connecticut.“I was so obsessed withthis book.”—Stephenie Meyer, author of theTwilight Saga“I couldn’t stop reading addictive.”—Stephen King,Entertainment WeeklyHC: 978-0-439-02348-1PB: 978-0-439-02352-8“Brilliantly plotted andperfectly paced.”Catching Fire978-0-439-02349-8978-0-439-02351-1Also available as audiobooks and as eBooks.A more detailed discussion guide is available atwww.scholastic.com/thehungergamesSCHOLASTIC Scholastic Inc.In a future with unsettling parallelsto our present, the nation ofPanem consists of an all-powerfulCapitol, surrounded by 12 oppressedDistricts that provide all its needs.Just as the Romans gave theirpopulation “panem et circenses”—bread and circuses—to controlthem by keeping them entertained,so has the Capitol devised theHunger Games, a survival contest onlive TV in which teenagers fight tothe death.CRITICAL ACCLAIM FORTHE HUNGER GAMESThe Hunger GamesMockingjayABOUT THE BOOKSSUZANNECOLLINS—The New York Times

ABOUT THE AUTHORThe Hunger Games begins with 16-yearold Katniss and her friend Gale huntingin the woods around their impoverishedDistrict 12. When her younger sisterPrim is chosen to be a “tribute” in theannual “reaping,” Katniss volunteersto go to the Games in her place, alongwith Peeta, the baker’s son. Once in theGames, Katniss must marshal all herskills to stay alive. In the end she outwitsthe Capitol by attempting a doublesuicide, which forces Capitol leaders toallow both her and Peeta to live.catching fireIn Catching Fire, Katniss has become asymbol of defiance. It’s now the QuarterQuell, the 75th anniversary Games. Every25 years the Capitol devises a new twist,and this year the tributes will be chosenfrom the victors of previous Games.Katniss is thrown into the arena oncemore with Peeta, but again she managesto thwart the Capitol’s plans andescapes—but Peeta is taken prisoner.mockingjayIn Mockingjay, Katniss becomes the faceof a full-scale rebellion in TV “propos”(propaganda movies) filmed by therebels. Determined to be the one tokill President Snow, Katniss once againfinds herself in an arena—only this onerepresents a life or death struggle forthe entire society. Katniss faces criticalchoices: Whom should she trust? Whatshould her role be? Do ends justifymeans? What is right and wrong? Whattruths must she follow?Photo credit: Todd PlittThe Hunger GamesAuthor Suzanne Collinsremembers in third gradereading the story ofTheseus, in which KingMinos of Crete demandedthat Athens periodicallysend seven boys and sevengirls to be thrown in theLabyrinth and sacrificedto the Minotaur. “Even as a third grader,”she says, “I could appreciate the ruthlessnessof this message. Mess with us and we’ll dosomething worse than kill you. We’ll killyour children.” Suzanne was also fascinatedby gladiator movies. The idea for The HungerGames came to Suzanne when she waschannel surfing between reality TV showsand actual war coverage.READING GROUP GUIDETHEHUNGERGAMESTRilogySuzanne Collins has had a prolific careerwriting for children’s television. She firstmade her mark in children’s literature withthe New York Times bestselling series TheUnderland Chronicles. In The Hunger Games,Collins continues to explore the effects ofwar and violence on those coming of age. Ina starred review, Publishers Weekly describedthe final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, as “abeautifully orchestrated and intelligent novelthat succeeds on every level.” Collins liveswith her family in Connecticut.“I was so obsessed withthis book.”—Stephenie Meyer, author of theTwilight Saga“I couldn’t stop reading addictive.”—Stephen King,Entertainment WeeklyHC: 978-0-439-02348-1PB: 978-0-439-02352-8“Brilliantly plotted andperfectly paced.”Catching Fire978-0-439-02349-8978-0-439-02351-1Also available as audiobooks and as eBooks.A more detailed discussion guide is available atwww.scholastic.com/thehungergamesSCHOLASTIC Scholastic Inc.In a future with unsettling parallelsto our present, the nation ofPanem consists of an all-powerfulCapitol, surrounded by 12 oppressedDistricts that provide all its needs.Just as the Romans gave theirpopulation “panem et circenses”—bread and circuses—to controlthem by keeping them entertained,so has the Capitol devised theHunger Games, a survival contest onlive TV in which teenagers fight tothe death.CRITICAL ACCLAIM FORTHE HUNGER GAMESThe Hunger GamesMockingjayABOUT THE BOOKSSUZANNECOLLINS—The New York Times

DISCUSSION POINTSCOMPARISONSthe hunger gamescatching fire1. Why are the “tributes” given stylists anddressed so elaborately for the openingceremony? Does this remind you ofceremonies in our world?1. How does Katniss’s participation in theGames change her relationship with Gale?1. What influences Katniss’s decision tobecome the Mockingjay?2. How does the Victory Tour affect Katnissand Peeta, their relationship to each other,and their feelings about their future?2. What is needed for Katniss to create atruly effective “propo”?2. When Peeta declares his love forKatniss, does he really mean it, ordid Haymitch create the “star-crossedlovers” story for the show?3. Peeta tells Katniss, “ I want to die asmyself I don’t want them to changeme in there. Turn me into some kind ofmonster that I’m not.” What does thistell you about Peeta? Is he able to staytrue to himself during the Games?4. What skills help Katniss stay alive? Herknowledge of nature? Her trappingability? What personality traits keepher going? Her intelligence? Her selfcontrol?5. Why do Katniss and Rue becomepartners? What does Katniss gainfrom this friendship? How does thispartnership differ from the other groups?6. In what ways do the Gamemakerscontrol the “entertainment” value of theGames? How does it affect the tributesto know they are being manipulatedto make the Games more exciting forsponsors and viewers?7. When does Katniss first realize thatPeeta really does care for her? Whendoes she realize her own feelings forhim? Did Haymitch plan all along tokeep them alive by stressing the lovestory? Are they actually in love?8. Discuss other cultures in history thathave staged fights-to-the-death asentertainment. How are they similar toaspects of our popular culture today thatare reflected in the story?3. Why does the Capitol devise a specialreaping for every 25th Game? Do youbelieve the requirements for this QuarterQuell were decided in the past or werethey designed for this Game to forceKatniss and Peeta back to the arena?4. How did the mockingjay speciesdevelop? What is the significance of themockingjay image?5. What makes Katniss say, “No wonder Iwon the Games. No decent person everdoes”? Is she being too hard on herself?If so, why? Can a decent person win theGames?6. Why is Katniss determined to keep Peetaalive, even at the expense of her ownlife? Why does Finnick save Peeta’s life?When does Katniss realize that her firstimpression of Finnick was wrong?7. What is more harmful to the players inthe Game: the physical traumas like thefog and rain of fire, or the emotionaltrauma of hearing the jabberjays?mockingjay3. Discuss the role of television “propaganda”in today’s society and the techniques thatare used to influence our thinking.4. Discuss the changing relationship betweenKatniss and Gale. What does Gale say isthe “only way I get your attention”? Doeshe truly love her?5. Discuss the “hijacking” of Peeta’s brain.Discuss Katniss’s comment, “It’s only nowthat he’s been corrupted that I can fullyappreciate the real Peeta.”6. What are Coin’s motives in ordering Peetato join Katniss’s squad?7. Do you believe it was the rebels whokilled the children with the explodingparachutes? If so, how does that make youfeel about whether this was justified as ameans of winning the war?8. Why does Katniss vote for anotherHunger Games? To save the lives of morepeople? Or does she secretly anticipatesabotaging the plan?8. What does Haymitch mean when he tellsKatniss, “You just remember who theenemy is—that’s all”? Who is the enemy?9. Why does Katniss assassinate Coin? Toavenge Prim, or because she believes it isfor the greater good of the country?Or both?9. Why were Katniss and Peeta not awareof the plans for the rebellion? Why werethey kept in the dark when other tributesknew about it?10. G ale tells Peeta that Katniss will pickwhichever one of them she can’t survivewithout. In the end, why is that one Peetaand not Gale?10. What is the meaning of the title“Catching Fire”?You can have interesting discussionscomparing the themes in The HungerGames to those in the following books.Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers(Scholastic Press/Scholastic, 1988).About teenage soldiers in Vietnam.Sunrise Over Fallujah, by Walter DeanMyers (Scholastic Press/Scholastic, 2008).Young soldiers in Iraq face many dilemmas.Feed, by M. T. Anderson (Candlewick,2004). A “feed” is embedded in the brainof every citizen.GemX, by Nicky Singer (Holiday House,2008). A future society is divided into the“Enhanced” and the “Natural Born.”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, byJ.K. Rowling (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2007). Harry confronts theforces of good and evil.King of the Middle March, by KevinCrossley-Holland (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2004). A young man in theCrusades faces moral choices.Private Peaceful, by Michael Morpurgo(Scholastic Press/Scholastic, 2003). Twobrothers face harsh army discipline inWorld War I.The Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld (SimonPulse, 2005). In a future society, there is acompulsory operation at the age of 16 tocreate a uniform standard of “beauty.”Unwind, by Neal Shusterman (Simon &Schuster, 2007). In a future world, teensselected for “unwinding” have their bodyparts harvested.Beyond the Myth: The Story of Joan of Arc,by Polly Schoyer Brooks (Sandpiper, 1999).A young girl becomes the symbol of arebellion.

DISCUSSION POINTSCOMPARISONSthe hunger gamescatching fire1. Why are the “tributes” given stylists anddressed so elaborately for the openingceremony? Does this remind you ofceremonies in our world?1. How does Katniss’s participation in theGames change her relationship with Gale?1. What influences Katniss’s decision tobecome the Mockingjay?2. How does the Victory Tour affect Katnissand Peeta, their relationship to each other,and their feelings about their future?2. What is needed for Katniss to create atruly effective “propo”?2. When Peeta declares his love forKatniss, does he really mean it, ordid Haymitch create the “star-crossedlovers” story for the show?3. Peeta tells Katniss, “ I want to die asmyself I don’t want them to changeme in there. Turn me into some kind ofmonster that I’m not.” What does thistell you about Peeta? Is he able to staytrue to himself during the Games?4. What skills help Katniss stay alive? Herknowledge of nature? Her trappingability? What personality traits keepher going? Her intelligence? Her selfcontrol?5. Why do Katniss and Rue becomepartners? What does Katniss gainfrom this friendship? How does thispartnership differ from the other groups?6. In what ways do the Gamemakerscontrol the “entertainment” value of theGames? How does it affect the tributesto know they are being manipulatedto make the Games more exciting forsponsors and viewers?7. When does Katniss first realize thatPeeta really does care for her? Whendoes she realize her own feelings forhim? Did Haymitch plan all along tokeep them alive by stressing the lovestory? Are they actually in love?8. Discuss other cultures in history thathave staged fights-to-the-death asentertainment. How are they similar toaspects of our popular culture today thatare reflected in the story?3. Why does the Capitol devise a specialreaping for every 25th Game? Do youbelieve the requirements for this QuarterQuell were decided in the past or werethey designed for this Game to forceKatniss and Peeta back to the arena?4. How did the mockingjay speciesdevelop? What is the significance of themockingjay image?5. What makes Katniss say, “No wonder Iwon the Games. No decent person everdoes”? Is she being too hard on herself?If so, why? Can a decent person win theGames?6. Why is Katniss determined to keep Peetaalive, even at the expense of her ownlife? Why does Finnick save Peeta’s life?When does Katniss realize that her firstimpression of Finnick was wrong?7. What is more harmful to the players inthe Game: the physical traumas like thefog and rain of fire, or the emotionaltrauma of hearing the jabberjays?mockingjay3. Discuss the role of television “propaganda”in today’s society and the techniques thatare used to influence our thinking.4. Discuss the changing relationship betweenKatniss and Gale. What does Gale say isthe “only way I get your attention”? Doeshe truly love her?5. Discuss the “hijacking” of Peeta’s brain.Discuss Katniss’s comment, “It’s only nowthat he’s been corrupted that I can fullyappreciate the real Peeta.”6. What are Coin’s motives in ordering Peetato join Katniss’s squad?7. Do you believe it was the rebels whokilled the children with the explodingparachutes? If so, how does that make youfeel about whether this was justified as ameans of winning the war?8. Why does Katniss vote for anotherHunger Games? To save the lives of morepeople? Or does she secretly anticipatesabotaging the plan?8. What does Haymitch mean when he tellsKatniss, “You just remember who theenemy is—that’s all”? Who is the enemy?9. Why does Katniss assassinate Coin? Toavenge Prim, or because she believes it isfor the greater good of the country?Or both?9. Why were Katniss and Peeta not awareof the plans for the rebellion? Why werethey kept in the dark when other tributesknew about it?10. G ale tells Peeta that Katniss will pickwhichever one of them she can’t survivewithout. In the end, why is that one Peetaand not Gale?10. What is the meaning of the title“Catching Fire”?You can have interesting discussionscomparing the themes in The HungerGames to those in the following books.Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers(Scholastic Press/Scholastic, 1988).About teenage soldiers in Vietnam.Sunrise Over Fallujah, by Walter DeanMyer

THE HUNGER GAMES “I was so obsessed with this book.” —Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga “I couldn’t stop reading addictive.”—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly “Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced.” —The New York Times The Hunger Games The Hunger Games be

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