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If you haven’t read this series, you should.  It is amazing!  I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever read.  I want all of my kids to read it.  My son has read the first one, but it just keeps getting better.  Here’s a link to the main book website and you can download a same chapters here!

I recommend it for 12 years old and up, younger if they are pretty mature and you think they can handle and grasp the story line.  It’s not a super hard read, but younger than that and they may not fully grasp the ins and outs, ups and downs, twists and turns and the politics.  But like I said it’s really not a hard read.

Book one is “The Hunger Games” where we are introduced to Katniss’ world.  How they live and the Hunger Games themselves.  To me it reminded me of World War II and the holocaust.  The poverty.  The fear that the families feel being under President Snow and the constant worry that their children could be picked next.   The love of a sister for her family and the depths that she will go to protect them are unwavering throughout all of the books.  I don’t want to reveal too much except to say, it’s not as gory as you would think it it.  Yes, there is some.  Yes, there are kids killing kids and some of the tortures sent during the games can be hard to take.  But so is what happened during the Holocaust.  To me it was like a reminder of how bad can humanity get?  Will it get that bad during the tribulation period?  Not that I’m comparing it to the Holocaust or the Tribulation.  It just makes me think.

Book Two is “Catching Fire” and just when you think Katniss and her family have been through enough the Capitol has plans for more.  You learn so much about what life is like for the victor’s.  Is it all the glory and riches they’ve been promised?  How do you return to normal after you’ve been in the Hunger Games?  And what what about the other districts?  Is their life like District 12 where Katniss grew up.  The “Girl on Fire” starts to learn the meaning of what a mocking jay is or can she ever really realize it’s meaning and her meaning to so many people?  Then there is the love story, real or imagined.  By the end of the book you’re left wondering what’s real?  Who can be trusted?  Note I cried a good bit during this book, but I wouldn’t consider it a tear jerker, it’s just me.

Book Three “Mocking Jay” is a roller coaster ride.  Everything you thought is turned inside out and upside down. Katniss’ world keeps getting rocked from everyside.  Then comes the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games called the Quarter Quell.  Another way the Capitol tortures its citizens into submission and reminds them who is in charge.  I won’t tell you about the games themselves or who goes, except to say that you will be on the edge of your seat!  Tick tock! At every turn, just when you think the characters will get a break and they can have some semblance of normal everything gets shaken like a snow globe.  I cried, I laughed, I got angry, I was gob smacked at times.  This book was war and they are at war.  War against the capitol, against each other at times, against themselves.  Nothing is as it seems and it will leave you gasping for breath!