Hunger Games Parent Review

by M
(ID, USA)

As a parent, I have to say I'm torn about the Hunger Games trilogy. On one hand, I absolutely could not put the books down myself. I found them thought-provoking, engaging, enthralling and well-written. But I also found myself deeply disturbed by the level of violence depicted in all three books.

Maybe I was so disturbed because I knew that my 12 and 14 year old daughters had already read the books and I was seeing the story through their perspectives in hindsight. Even then, these are violent, disturbing books and I find them a bit dark to be marketed to adolescents. Not dark in the ridiculous vampire, werewolf, occult trends that have unfortunately dominated young adult fiction of late (no thanks to Stephanie Meyer); but more of a darkness due to the evil that people are capable of inflicting on one other.

I guess it all depends on your view of what to allow your kids to experience. If you like to control their exposure to the darker aspects of the world, then you might think twice before allowing them to read the Hunger Games books. However, if you're like me and you feel it important for your children to receive an education in the potential horrors of totalitarianism and the effects of the devaluation of human life--then you can see merit in the storyline of the Hunger Games.

Regardless, be forewarned--these books are no fairy tales. They are likely to be (in fact they should be!) disturbing to all who read them. Yet, so is the evening news. It all depends on your world view.

Nevertheless, I am very excited to see the upcoming movies based on these books. And curious to see how they will depict the violence inherent to the stories. My husband and I will preview the movies first before taking my older kids who've read the books. I require my kids to read the book before seeing any movie based on a novel. (I'm such a fun mom :)

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