The Hunger Games: Great Preteen Read Or Too Violent For Our Kids?

   By drodriguez  Aug 05, 2011

Teens and young adults around the world can’t put it down…no, we’re not talking about their PS3’s and cell phones. Author Susan Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy (which includes The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mocking Jay) has become a must-read for teens everywhere.

Collins’ Hunger Games (a favorite among SheSpeaks members) is set in a sort of apocalyptic future where poor children are forced to represent their communities by fighting in televised death matches. Though Scholastic recommends this series for kids ages 11 – 13, some parents may worry that the violence depicted in the book is too much for them to handle.

There are reports that one New Hampshire mom even went so far as to try and have the book removed from her 11 year old daughter’s class, telling school officials that it gave her daughter nightmares. Though the mom had herself not read the books, she was also worried the children in her daughter’s school would become desensitized to violence if they continued to read it.

Time magazine’s Lev Grossman defends the violence in the book says in his review, “The Hunger Games and Catching Fire expose children to exactly the kind of violence we usually shield them from. But that just goes to show how much adults forget about what it's like to be a child. Kids are physical creatures, and they're not stupid. They know all about violence and power and raw emotions. What's really scary is when adults pretend that such things don't exist.”

What do you think of the The Hunger Games book series for teens and young adults?

What age do you think is appropriate to introduce kids to this type of fiction?

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