Suzanne Collins: Reading Revivalist

Having just finished reading Book One, The Hunger Games (HG), I cannot contain myself any longer.  Thank you to Suzanne Collins for writing a book that reaches out to younger readers and even to myself.

This is my third reading and I am using it in my alternative ed classroom.  Often reading is an impossible task, but right now HG is working.  Even I have struggled to find reading which holds my attention from one book to the second to the third!

HG leaves my heart racing, my emotions in a swirl, and a deep-seeded sadness.  Why?  The timeless storyline of star-crossed lovers is just one reason.  Then there is the eternal battle between good and bad.  How can the reader deny the sense of agitation in the midst of the battle!  And the music created by the mockingjay!  Of course, it is silent reading so there is no true music, but in my mind there certainly is.

In fact, putting the full realm of my feelings into words is difficult–especially since most say I am so wordy.  Yet, this trilogy has sent me into an entirely new world of the future, but also of the ancient world filled with gladiators.

I find myself struggling with the political conflict presented, too.  Not only am I a language teacher and trained journalist, but I like history, esp. American history and politics.  These books create an echo in my head that shouts an alarm.  Why do people have to be so power crazy?  Why does HG leave me with a sense of doom?  Is it because of the power struggles we witness in government?

There are so many things that go running through my heart–err, I mean head–while reading these books that I closed HG tonight almost drained, yet oddly pumped up by adrenalin.  I have a sense or urgency to open Book Two and I know I cannot do it at this moment.

Suzanne Collins is reviving reading at a level that even young people clear up to adults and even seasoned, near retirement teachers cannot put the book down.  Thank you, Ms. Collins.  I just really regret that I will have to put the books away after this semester.  Maybe in August I can begin the journey again.

And just for the record, the trilogy fits into a school semester.  I find so many literary elements, so many themes, so many characterizations, so much conflict in the story line, so many twists, settings that identify regions of the US and a style which lends to literary analysis.

This is a book that offers much for concrete readers, but possible is even more valuable for the higher order thinkers.  The series lends itself to developing curriculum which focuses on rigor and relevance.  The alternative ed arena proves it and reading can be revived!

Again, thank you, Ms. Collins.  Thank you, Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Cinna, and all the others who bring the story alive.  Thank you.  I cannot wait until I can return to your world and share it with my students.

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