About the Book…
Our final book for the season was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The girls were bugging me for months about doing it and once the movie came out I had no other choice! Given the violent nature of the book, I wanted to wait until my daughter was twelve to let her read it (although I think now she could have handled the series a bit earlier). The Hunger Games brings the reader to a futuristic world much like City of Ember but with some significant differences as well as similarities. Ember is a place created to preserve mankind and uses strict rules to keep its citizens in line and working together. Much information is kept from the general public ‘for their own good’. Panem (Hunger Games) is a country built around specific jobs for specific districts to keep everything running smoothly. Much information is kept from the general public ‘for their own good’ – sound familiar?
The biggest concern of the bookclub members’ mothers was the premise of children being pitted against other children to kill each other in this post-apocalyptic country. It’s every mother’s nightmare (along with about 1,000 more). But Katniss provides a strong female role model and the whole situation is more fantasy than reality (at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves), so we closed up the year with The Hunger Games.
What We Did…
Because all the moms had also read the book, we had our first Mother-Daughter Bookworm Bookclub. I gave myself the night off for food duty and asked the mom’s to bring all the goodies – I just provided the refreshments (for kids and adults!). It was a lovely afternoon, so we held the meeting outside until the skies opened up with a huge rainstorm. But before the rains came, we had some great discussions and activities:
- Scholastic Canada has great Discussion Questions and other resources for this novel. I started with the girls for the first 45 minutes before the moms joined us. We had lots of discussion around how the Hunger Games were similar to televised events we view now (reality shows, the Olympics). The pressure to win, the morbid curiosity around a ‘juicy’ story, the harsh consequences of defeat are all paralleled in the book. Hopefully the girls will think twice before tuning into some of the current reality shows and laughing at people’s real lives.
- As a prequel to our main event I had the girls construct mini bows & arrows from The Brooding Hen website. These little weapons were super cute and really could put someone’s eye out! Luckily the moms joined us for the final part of the discussion and this craft. Winding the dental floss could be a bit tricky and the extra hands were very welcomed.
- Our final activity before the wine came out was the real deal – we brought our archery set and target home from the cottage and set it out in the backyard. With a little instruction from my daughter, everyone gave it a try and did pretty well. And it’s quite liberating to stand up straight and shoot an arrow off into the woods!
EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE: Hunger Games Discussion Questions and Activities
To cap off our third year, I gave each girl their Summer Read. The books ranged from funny to serious, but all with the promise of a great story. I think the girls had as much fun as I did exploring new books and especially The Forest of Reading this year. I’m already looking forward to next season!