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I initially began to read this as I had bought it for Frank for class (grade 6) and the girl in Readings bookshop suggested that due to the themes inside, I may wish to read it as well so that we could discuss it.
The story is of the Nation Panem in the future where an annual TV reality show is about to take place. Twelve girls and twelve boys are selected each of the Districts (a pair from each) and they must fight each other to death until there is a winner.
The "game" or The Games" as is it is known take place in Capital where there is wealth and glamour and people appear to be ageless.
The Districts provide the Capital with everything that is needed and they are all comparatively poor.
The story focuses on District 12 (each District is known only by number), one of the poorest of the Districts and Katniss, who is a very good (illegal) hunter in the adjoining (out-of-bounds) woods with her friend Gale. Most people of the District work in the Seam (coal).
Katniss' sister and Peeta (the Baker's son) are selected for the game and Katniss volunteers to go instead of her sister as she had always protected her mother and sister since her father had died. Peeta and Katniss have to learn whether or not to trust each other as the controllers, or the Gamemakers, manipulate them during the game, and they learn a lot about themselves, the others in the games and each other and the extent that humans will go to in order to save themselves.
This is a story of struggle for identity and survival. It is at times horrific and frightening and truly dark. This is not much sense of hope in this story for the reader. Appropriate for the 11 year old age bracket that is on the back of the book? I am not really sure about that. I think that this book is a little dark for this age bracket. I think that that this age group needs more hope to hold on to.