Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Katniss vs. Bella

An Asian woman, shoulder length curly black hair, came to the register with her 2 daughters, and placed THE HUNGER GAMES on the counter.


I smiled when I saw it. "This is so good," I said. "Is this for you?", I asked the older daughter, who looked about 15.

"No," the mother said. "It's for this one," she said, pointing to her younger daughter. "Is it appropriate for her? She's in fifth grade, she's 11."

"Well, it is pretty intense." I paused. "Do you know what it's about?"

"No, I have no idea," the mother said.

"It's set in the future and the Hunger Games are a competition where they choose teenagers to compete. The teenagers fight to the death. There is only one survivor. There is a fair amount of violence."

The older daughter, curling her lip, said, "She's already read BREAKING DAWN," as though that covered all the violence and intensity she might ever encounter in a book.


Looking at the younger daughter, I said, "THE HUNGER GAMES is pretty intense, it's really good, though. Are your friends reading it?"

She nods her head.

I turned to the mother, "It might be pretty intense, though she may have to read it in school at some point. Quite a few classes and schools are now having it as required reading. There is a lot to talk about in these books. It would be a really good one for you to discuss with her."

I continued, "Also, one thing I really like about THE HUNGER GAMES is that Katniss, the main character, is a strong female. Not just strong physically, though she is that too, but strong in character." Alluding to the older daughter's BREAKING DAWN reference, I said, "She's a lot different than Bella in the Twilight series. I think Katniss is a much better literary role model than Bella."

The older daughter crossed her arms and looked away, clearly not in agreement with me.

Looking at the younger daughter I said, "I hope you enjoy it!"

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