Is The Hunger Games Trilogy Suitable for Children? A Parent’s Perspective

Hunger Games merchandise free with a newspaper

Hunger Games merchandise is commanding high prices on E-bay, but some newspapers are giving it away free.
Hunger Games merchandise is commanding high prices on E-bay, but some newspapers are giving it away free. | Source

Could Violent Books Be Bad For Children?

Someone gave my 12-year-old daughter a copy of the novel: “The Hunger Games” for her last birthday. She read only a few chapters before abandoning it. My older daughter, then aged 13, took up the book, started reading and was hooked. Within a few weeks she’d read the entire Hunger Games trilogy. She also passed the books on to a few friends, and soon a small gaggle of them were raving about the Hunger Games.

I’d read enough on the back covers of the books to agree with my younger daughter that they sounded horrible. The novels are set at an unspecified time in the future, when North America is now called Panem and after a period of unrest, the country has been kept in order for over 70 years by a violent regime. Panem is divided into 13 districts, but district 13 is desolate, obliterated by the Capitol after a rebellion. As a warning to all of what would happen if they were to try another uprising, every year the Capitol holds the Hunger Games. In these games 2 children from each district, aged between 12 and 18, must go as contestants (known as “tributes”) to fight in an arena. The Hunger Games are televised for the enjoyment of Capitol citizens, but in the Districts watching them is mandatory.

This is no ordinary televised game show and it is no ordinary arena – the fight is to the death, and the arena a wide area of open countryside that has been rigged with television cameras and booby traps should the contestants not put on a good enough show while fighting each other. The winner is the only child to come out of the arena alive. In the opening chapters the main character, 16 year-old Katniss, volunteers as “tribute,” in place of her sister whose name has been randomly drawn.

All in all, I wondered what on earth my older daughter, normally a sensitive child, could see in these novels. When she went through a spate of anxiety earlier this year I thought of the many reports in the press on the effects of violent video games on children and I wondered if the books could be responsible for how she felt. I wondered if I should have stopped her from reading them, although by then of course it was too late.

My daughter’s interest in all things Hunger Games included the music from the film of the first book, released on March 23rd. It was hearing this beautiful, haunting track by the Secret Sisters that partly made me decide I should read the books myself before writing them off.

The beautiful song from The Hunger Games by the Secret Sisters

Or Are Violent Stories Good For Children?

Besides, don’t some “experts” say that fairy tales with their cruelty and violence are a way for small children to work through their own feelings of anger and fear? The monsters in fairy tales are seen to represent the kids’ own inner monsters.

I never really bought that theory when my kids were little, largely because as at four years old, my elder daughter was so utterly scared of Snow White’s wicked stepmother and various other villains that I couldn’t see how it did her any good at all. At six, she was terrified by a film, shown at school, of the Good Samaritan – or more accurately of the wounded man being ignored by passers by. Yet this same daughter was eight when she read the first four Harry Potter books. When the fourth one gave her nightmares I refused to buy her the fifth. She borrowed it from the school library.

So is there something in this theory? Do children use literature as a way to understand and cope with feelings and maybe even with the violence in the world in general? Even if children aren’t physically mistreated at home, each of us is sometimes aroused to anger. Do these violent feelings, when channelled into literature, come to resolution?

Some researchers also say that when children make up their own stories they contain aggression and violence. In truth, my own experience backs this up. A friend recently told me of some films she’d seen, all made by teenagers, all containing main characters under attack and violently fighting back. My children and their friends (girls as well as boys) all have “Nerf guns” and play shooting games. I also have experience of running creative writing workshops for 10 – 12 year-olds. Some of the stories the kids produced were gentle, passive, or introspective. And many were violent.

The Official Hunger Games Movie Trailer on YouTube

A Hunger Games Doubter

Yet still, as I read the first chapters of The Hunger Games, knowing that the heroine (and first person narrator) was destined for an arena where she would kill other children, I felt a deep sense of revulsion and foreboding. Not just because the story seemed so gruesome, but there was something else that I couldn’t put my finger on.

Eventually, halfway through the third book I realised what it was. In those fairy tales, and even in Harry Potter or Doctor Who (which my children also love) the characters that die are generally the “baddies.” When innocent people do die, the characters doing the killing are not the heroes or narrators. It was clear from the book jacket that Katniss, the heroine of the Hunger Games, would survive. Therefore, it seemed to me that the suspense in the novel must come from how she survived, in what the Hunger Games did to her. I found myself hoping that perhaps all the other kids killed each other and Katniss’s innocence remained intact.

But the message in this book is more realistic than that. Way back in the summer of 1971, Stanford University ran an experiment in which they simulated a prison, recruiting local students to act as “guards” and “prisoners.” The researchers were interested to see how people react when put into positions of either power or powerlessness. The experiment was planned to run for two weeks, but was suspended after six days because by then several prisoners had become depressed, the guards were behaving sadistically and the professor in charge of the experiment had become so involved that he no longer felt confident of his own ability to act rationally. I don’t know if Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, has read about the Stanford Prison Experiment but she certainly got the sense of a brutal situation brutalizing people spot on.

My daughter’s Hunger Games gym bag.


Highlighting Effects of Violence and Emotional Confusion

The Hunger Games does not glorify violence, but instead shows its longterm effects. Right from the start it’s clear that Katniss and the other inhabitants of District Twelve believe themselves powerless to oppose, that opposition would mean death not just to themselves, but to those they love. This is how the Nazis came to power in Germany, how dictators come to power anywhere. Fear and a sense of powerlessness pervade the novels, but also a determination in some characters not to have their humanity destroyed by the Games.

Is particular, this is the wish of Peeta, the other contestant or “tribute” from District Twelve. As the games go on, Katniss has flashbacks after violent acts and both she and Peeta have nightmares throughout the trilogy. Even other characters that seem to be less affected later reveal the full extent of the trauma they experience. For example, Haymitch, who is a past victor at the Hunger games, mentors Katniss and Peeta – when he is sober enough to do so. It’s only towards the end of the trilogy that we get to know both how he won his games, and the repercussions of this.

Similarly, I like the way Suzanne Collins deals with what some reviewers refer to as the romance element to the novels. A more accurate description of this would be the relationship element. There is little romance, but a lot of honest soul searching from Katniss. Because she already feels indebted to Peeta she is at first horrified when he is called as her fellow tribute, but they become friendly and are then encouraged to present themselves a star-crossed lovers in the hope of earning more sponsorship from rich Capitol dwellers. The sponsorship can buy much needed medicine or food for the arena. After playing up to the cameras Katniss becomes totally confused about what she feels for Peeta and for Gale, her hunting partner and friend from District Twelve.

I like this aspect of the novels, and think it is a useful portrayal for teenagers who are just beginning to think about stepping into the world of relationships, even if as yet most may only dream about this rather than act on it. Young people (and some not so young) do often feel confusion in relationships and showing this is likely to give teenagers a far better idea of what to expect than I got from some of the novels I read at the same age.

A Hunger Games Convert?

So am I now a Hunger Games convert? Do I now think violence in teen fiction is just the thing? It probably won’t surprise you that my answer is: it depends.

I’d like to return to that kids’ creative writing class I used to run, and explain a little more about what happened as a result of all those violent stories the kids wrote. At first I simply allowed the kids to vent, thinking it would help them release pent-up anger from the day, but what happened was that the writing grew more directly insulting of other kids or school staff and aggression spilled over into comments made in the workshop. I found it necessary to introduce a set of rules to ensure respect for the group members and others.

I am glad I read The Hunger Games. Although I regularly talk with my kids about emotions and about issues in life, reading the books have given me another way to approach this. There are many aspects of The Hunger Games that open doors for discussion on our society and how it works, from the obsession with reality television to the effect committing violence has on a person. Children, as I discovered in those writing workshops, often feel at sea about emotions and relationships and need guidance on how to effectively channel or release those emotions.

I have read of children as young as nine reading The Hunger Games. I do not think I would have wanted my children to read it at that age, but each child is different as my two have demonstrated. With pre-teens and young teenagers who want to read the books, I would encourage parents to read them first, and to then use the opportunity it provides for you and your teenager to discuss the issues raised.

©Melovy. This article may not be copied in full or in part without prior permission from the author.

References and Further Reading

© 2012 Yvonne Spence

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emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

This is a really awesome hub. I didn't even know that much about the Hunger Games, but I did know the basic theme to the movie. However, I didn't know such young children were so interested in the series. I will probably end up seeing it, eventually, after the cinemas die down a bit... tickets are sold out right now! Thanks for this hub. I liked how you talk about how this movie could be bad for kids, but how it could be a way to work thru their own feelings through this film, too. Voted up and awesome.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

You present a lot of information here that I feel I will need to read again. Someone has mentioned to me that my 11 year old (JUST turned 11) would love The Hunger Games books. I wasn't too sure based on what I've heard about the books and the movie. I was planning on reading the books myself before I let my daughter get to them. But then again I always promised I would never censor my daughter's reading. Sigh - this Hub gives me a lot to think about - and THAT'S the first sign of a great writer...leave the reader thinking! Great Hub Melovy

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

A thoughtful and nuanced evaluation of the Hunger Games. Very well done. I applaud your decision to read them yourself first, instead or responding to your children with a knew jerk reaction. Good Hub.

Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

In our book group, one of our member's 13 year old daughter spoke highly of the series, and we ended up reading all three. We were all impressed with how the story was told. My nine year old son has already finished the first and is part way through 'Catching Fire' - we let him read it because he has already read a number of books that are at this level, including all of the HP books.

As you say, however, it really depends on the child; not every thirteen year old would be ready for this story, while some nine-year olds could be fine.

Voted up and interesting.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

My granddaughters love these books and couldn't wait to see the movie. I haven't read them so I knew nothing about them until your hub. Thanks for the information.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Hey Melovy - I was concerned about this as well. I did read the book myself. But - my 12 year old had already learned about the Holocaust at school. My 10 year old is a voracious reader - she has already read The Hunger Games and loved it. (She is the top reader in her class according to her teacher) she read the Twilight series (except the last one).

Here is what I have stressed - the Holocaust - that's REAL - the books - all fiction and fantasy. It's what came from someone's imagination. So - I think that helps...but my kids are kind of precocious - but I'm proud of their reading skills and I think they can handle some things where it might not be so digestible to other kids their age.

Up and excellent - I will still be thinking about this and I hooe you do write about the movie too!

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I have read The Hunger Games... in fact, I was so into the series, that I went out and bought the rest of the trilogy within hours of finishing the first book. My husband thinks this book would be ok for my 9 year old to read (she is almost 10) However, due to the violent nature of the book and her very naïve mind, I am not sure if I want to expose her to this. However, I do believe this will be a book that will be used for future literary classes as they disect the reason why writer's write what they write.

Interesting hub! I am still torn on the issue!

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iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Melovy, I saw the movie, but have not read the book. I am not a parent.

The movie, was an interesting feature. I am sure the book was more involved and detailed.

I think kids are more knowledgeable these days. Their minds are less censored than when we were children. I think they can take in what the hunger games is all about. It is a matter if they can handle the subject matter.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi emilybee,

I was mainly writing about the books in this hub, though I have seen the film now too. We booked tickets and went yesterday afternoon, and I was surprised to see several empty seats. But I think the cinema we went to had several screens devoted to the Hunger Games. Here in the UK some scenes have been cut to make it a 12A - I have heard only 7 second! I took girls aged between 12 and 14, and they all enjoyed it. Do take a few tissues! It sticks well to the book, and I think what I wrote about the books does still apply to the film - though the actors generally look a bit more well-fed than the books suggest!

Thanks for your comment and vote up.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Ardie, I think it would be a good idea to read them before giving them to your daughter. And then, when I think about it, my kids do seem to know when something isn’t right for them. My older daughter started Phillip Pullmans’ “His Dark Materials” trilogy and stopped because she found it too disturbing, and my younger daughter came to the Hunger Games movie, but still doesn't want to read the books.

Thanks for your kind comment!

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi phdast7,

Thank you very much for your kind comment.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Phil Plasma,

One of the articles I read about why violence might actually be important to children specified that boys often choose this kind of reading material because of the suspense and other elements. So perhaps boys gravitate to it at a younger age? (I’m just guessing here.)

Thanks for your comment and vote up!

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Moonlake,

Your granddaughters sound like my older daughter - she was counting down to the movie for weeks! Glad this hub was of some use for you and thanks for you comment.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author


What you say about telling them the stories aren’t real but the Holocaust was real seems a good idea. Mine have also done the Holocaust at school, and I remember watching a television dramatisation on Anne Frank when I was about 14 or maybe younger. I remember feeling shocked and sad but also awed at how brave she was.

I’m not sure there is a straightforward one-size fits all answer. Your younger daughter sounds like my older one, reads everything! Actually not quite, because she read one Twilight novel a couple of years ago and no more. Reading is such an important skill to develop that it’s good to encourage kids to find books that catch their imagination and the Hunger Games certainly seems to have done that.

Thanks very much for your comment and vote up.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author


My view is that parents know their children best, but as you and your husband have different opinions, that’s a bit trickier. I’d probably be with you as I tend to be cautious! The film is has a lot less violence than the book, but the UK version has been cut slightly. otherwise I’d suggest that as a first option since my younger daughter enjoyed it but doesn’t want to read the books.

And you're right about it being used in classrooms - from what I read when I was researching this, several schools have already started using The Hunger Games for class reading!

Thanks for your comment.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi audra leigh,

The movie is a good representation of the book (probably not surprising since Suzanne Collins did co-write it) but as you’d imagine the book is more detailed. I do think it’s up to individuals to decide what their kids can cope with, though you could be right and kids are more knowledgeable these days - or maybe more knowledgeable about certain things.

Thanks for your comment and thanks so much for sharing the link!

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

This hub is terrific. It is definitely one I will have to re-read as you cover so much ground, not just about the Hunger Games but children and children's literature in general. Your statement "There are many aspects of The Hunger Games that open doors for discussion on our society and how it works, from the obsession with reality television to the effect committing violence has on a person." makes the Hunger Games more appealing and definitely something that should be used in the classroom - it is always good to use something kids are into to teach them. I know my granddaughters (both 17) LOVED the book and the movie and I loved this hub. Voted up, interesting and useful. Thanks for SHARING. This is only the second hub I've shared on FB!!

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi tillsontitan,

I feel very honoured by your comment. I think your point that it is good to use something children are into to teach them is a great one, and I feel that reading the books and joining my daughters and friends at the cinema has helped us as a family to understand each other.

Thanks so much for your comment and for for sharing this on FB.

SmartAndFun profile image

SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

My 7th grader resisted reading the book because she knew from her friends what the main theme is. As the parent of a child in school, I needed her to have a book to read for language arts, so I pooh-poohed her not wanting to read it and thought she was everreacting. I had no clue what it was about and thought it must be OK since everyone her age was going gaga for it. Since I didn't know what it was about, I was not prepared for the movie. I'm kind of surprised it's such a popular movie with kids because I found it very depressing and violent. Like a dummy I even let my 10 year old come with us to the movie, and had to take him out to the lobby during part of it, because he was not enjoying the gore. I feel like a big dummy for sure and can't believe I followed the flock to this movie without checking it out first. My kids survived it just fine and I did too, but it was not at all what I thought it might be. I'm sure they'll want to see the next two, but I don't. The first one was too emotionally taxing.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi SmartAndFun,

I am sorry to hear that you did not have a good experience with the Hunger Games movie. I live in the UK and the movie was cut to make it suitable for the category 12A, so the version we saw was less gory. It sounds as if the movie triggered something for you, so be kind to yourself. If there is one thing all parents do it is make mistakes sometimes. and it sounds as if you son got over the gore if he survived it just fine and thinks he’d like to see the next one. (Which if it’s like the book is not so gory.)

Thank you for your comment and wishing you and your family well.

Hypersapien profile image

Hypersapien 4 years ago

To me, novels like this aren't about violence; they're about good triumphng over evil, and the power of the human will an spirit. I can certainly understand your concern as a parent for what your child reads and how it might affect them, but violence has been an integral part of our literature for a long time. The Bible, for instance, has been around for hundreds of years and is full of heinous acts: murder, incest, adultery, beheadings, etc. (all alleged to be events that actually occurred, I might add), and yet people - young and old - are constantly encouraged to read it, learn it, quote from it , and so on. In short, I don't The Hunger Games is any more detrimental than anything else out there on the market.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Hypersapien,

Yes, what you say is pretty much what I came to see once I’d read the Hunger Games. The books are about the triumph of the human spirit and I think they are very well written and thought out. I also agree that there’s plenty of violence in the bible, and as I point out in this hub, there’s plenty of violence in young children’s stories. However, all of us come to this, or any book, coloured by our own experiences and some children and adults do find the violence disturbing so for that reason I think it’s a good idea to be aware this may stir feelings up and to be ready to deal with that. I do think that the trilogy as a whole has a lot to offer and could be used as an opening for discussions at home or at school.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

TripleAMom profile image

TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

Hi, I just finished writing a hub about my take on the Hunger Games and your hub came up. Glad it did. I enjoyed reading it and learning about another perspective. I did let my 12 year old read the books because she is very discerning about what she reads and if she felt she couldn't handle it, she would have put it down. She did well with it and is ready for the 2nd book. My 15 year old son enjoyed it as well. I like the good vs evil concept. I was specifically thinking about the book and battles that teens face today.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi TripleAMom,

I think you make a valid point - that some children are very capable of deciding for themselves if they can handle the books. (With the movie that might be trickier I suppose.) My 12 yr old decided the books weren’t for her, but was happy with the film - it was edited in the UK to meet the 12A category.

Thanks for your comment and I will take a look at your hub also.

adawnmorrison profile image

adawnmorrison 4 years ago from The Midwest

Thank you for this Hub...our 10-year-old reads at nearly a college level, and we and his teachers struggle with finding appropriate reading material. While his intellect is very mature, his emotions are still those of a child, and in fact, he is quite a bit more sensitive than a lot of boys his age. There were many seemingly innocuous movies we avoided showing him until just recently, that we knew instinctively would upset him, altough they didn't bother his younger siblings at all. I have talked to him about the Holocaust, which I became intensely interested in at his age, and I was hoping to introduce him to some literature on the topic soon. I think it's important for kids to be introduced to that type of subject matter to develop their sense of justice and to teach them what happens when "innocent" people stand by and do nothing about evil. I will read The Hunger Games myself before I let him read them, but I think I will ultimately allow him to read them in a few years, and I will preview the movies, too.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi adawnmorrison,

Your son sounds similar to how our older daughter was: intellectually advanced, but emotionally very sensitive. We also had to be careful read or watched - Snow White was too upsetting when she was 3. I was very surprised when at 13 she read the Hunger Games, but she chose to and was by then ready.

I’m glad you found this hub useful and I think you are wise to hold off with the Hunger Games for a few years your son until you think he’s ready. We all know our own children best.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

KrisL profile image

KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

Thanks for this excellent hub.

I sent the first of the trilogy to my 13 year old niece, after reading it.

It is violent, but, as you say it also makes it clear that violence has consequences for both victims and victors. That makes the books (and I imagine the movie) both more disturbing and more valuable than those with cartoon violence with no consequences.

I was an advanced reader too, and read a lot of adult SF and fantasy as a child and young teenager. I think some of the rather graphic cartoon violence in Tarzan novels (which I read from 9-10) may have done me some harm, but I weathered it OK!

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi KrisL,

I think that for me the deciding factor with the Hunger Games was how the books show the effects of violence on the "victors." Very few books for kids do that. So I agree with you it makes them more disturbing and valuable.

Thanks for your comment.

Joy2daWorld617 profile image

Joy2daWorld617 4 years ago

I agree with you 100 percent. I recently read these, and as freshmen in college who is studying to become a travel writer I picked up on the parallels between their world and ours. I believe the message Collins was sending out was partly that if we continue to live the way we do today, we may end up living like that. The way the story is set up (definitely for young adults) causes some form of awareness in younger generations to make a difference now. It makes me very happy that you talk to your kids about current issues in the world that are relevant to these books. The more they know now, the better.

As for the violence, yes, it's necessary. What I loved about the battles in these books (especially in Mockingjay) was they weren't glorified and they weren't 'faked'. Unlike Twilight, when the final showdown between the Cullen clan and the Volturi came to pass they simply shook hands and everything was hunky dory, this war ACTUALLY happened. People died. Important, lovable characters died. And there weren't pages upon pages of grief and pondering over their deaths. It just happened and was over, and they needed to move on to survive or they would die as well. But this is how war really is. How else are we going to teach kids what really goes on during wars? People fight for our country while most of our country don't even know what our soldiers do or go through (Speaking about America specifically, but I'm sure other regions suffer the same problems).

I have a problem with young kids reading these books, but I think any teenager over the age of 12 should read them and learn about our world today.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author


Thanks for your long and thoughtful comment. I agree with your interpretation of Collins' message.

I also think the fact lovable characters died is a truer reflection of real life than many books portray. Children do face death - of grandparents or pets, and sometimes closer to home.

And as you say, this is how war is - glorifying it does no one any service.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

tobecontinuedhere profile image

tobecontinuedhere 4 years ago from Washington State

My daughter wasn't sure she wanted to read the books and then she saw the movie. She has just turned 13 (June) and has already read the trilogy 3 times. And this is a child who has been a reluctant reader as well as one more prone to fits of anxiety.

I have found her to discuss the content of this book in a very mature way as well using more advanced vocabulary as a result.

I have yet to read them; I can't get her to part with them as of yet, but I too will be reading them to see what the lasting appeal seems to be.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi tobecontinuedhere,

Sounds as if your daughter is similar to mine. (Except for the reluctant reader part, mine has always been keen on books.) You could always read the first one while she rereads the last! I think that's what I did.

It's great when reading a book actually expands a child's awareness and it sounds like that's what's happened with your daughter.

Thanks for your comment.

tobecontinuedhere profile image

tobecontinuedhere 4 years ago from Washington State

Thanks for your feedback as well!

amandad234 profile image

amandad234 4 years ago from Iowa

1984 is a classic by George Orwell, but it centers around a "distopia", much like the world that The Hunger Games revolves around. A "distopia" is basically, a world in chaos. Any kind. No semblance of peace or an illusion of peace is given. 1984 was the book that made me think while I was in junior/high school. The Hunger Games gives young people the opportunity to think about the what ifs? The similarities, differences, the violence even. What makes the Hunger Games trilogy good is the fact that it can get young people talking about what they read. Though, we hope they home in on the bigger picture instead of just the "romantic" parts.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

amandad234, you are right that there are many similarities between 1984 and The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins is more optimistic than George Orwell was though! As far as the romantic aspects go, I thought they were realistic and understated, and my kids and their friends definitely have taken in the wider picture, though how representative that is of teenagers as a whole I can't say!

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Leah Vanessa profile image

Leah Vanessa 4 years ago

Am I weird when I say the Hunger Games bored me greatly? :/

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Leah Vanessa, not everyone needs to like the same books. It's as well everyone doesn't in fact, or there would be even more disparity between best selling authors and the rest.

Thanks for your comment.

Leah Vanessa profile image

Leah Vanessa 4 years ago

Great insight :) I'll tell that to all my friends who say there's something wrong with me ;)

You're welcome! :D

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

And you're welcome too.

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DMVmimay 4 years ago

Hi Yvonne, i think its better not to read books when you wish to watch it in movies.. sometimes, there are scenarios that been removed.. you expect it to be filmed and yet not. (it is only my opinion) i had once read and when i watched it on film i feel disappointed, lots of scenes are removed and not included on the taping.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

DMVmimay, yes there were a few changes, and some you can't really understand. My daughter laughs that they changed the colour of the cat. I guess they have to make some changes for it to work as a movie. I didn't mind it too much, sorry to hear you felt disappointed!

Thanks for your comment.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

I SOOO agree: it depends. I was reading stuff at age 11 that I probably shouldn't have been reading. I would borrow books from the library or swipe novels that my sister in law had read, after she put them in the discard pile. I occasionally had nightmares and would never tell my mom what I had read. I read "Mother Earth Father Sky" - an anthropological fiction story about ancient Inuit Indians up in Alaska. The story centered on Kiin, a girl who was brutally abused and tormented by her father. My mom had no idea I read it until I gave it to my sister in law to read and she couldn't believe I had read that and told my mom. While my mom wasn't too happy, she realized that the reason I did that was because I didn't want her to censor what I read and that I enjoyed the stories so much. I never really got nightmares, but the stories would stick with me for days. I feel like, though, they did help me to deal with the adult world more effectively. I also did enjoy the Hunger Games when I read them, but chided myself on being sickly attracted to the story. Like you, I thought about how this stuff has gone on in history and I always feel like if we can impress upon our young people that they need to be responsible leaders, this might be one way to show them. But, some kids can't handle this. I think it just depends on the kid, you know? I was always so sensitive, too, but somehow just reading about it, I knew I was not part of it. I could walk away from that world when/if I wanted to. Rarely did that happen, though. The one book I desperately wanted to walk away from? Terese Raquin, something I had to read when I was in an English class in high school. We were studying realism/naturalism and I was a freshman taking a junior-level class. I thought I could handle it. But after enduring Crime and Punishment, then Terese Raquin, I did NOT want to read about murder and lust any more. I got through it, and my mom wasn't happy about it, but I have never, ever forgotten the lessons and poignancy in those books. Perhaps that's why I'm a little loopy in my adult life. HAHA. Fantastic, thought-provoking hub!!

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Interesting Yvonne!

My 11 year old read all three books! I did think about not letting her but! Haha. She is extremely intelligent and a voracious reader. We discuss at length the difference between reality and fantasy. I think she has a great grasp of that and so I allowed it.

I think so much depends on the maturity of the child. And the biggest part is - do talk about it after! That way you can discuss their feelienfpgs and say maybe what they would have felt, done, thought. I.e.:)

Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I hadn't read the books when I saw the movie and I guess I was a bit surprised by the level of violence, which enabled the movie to cross over to an adult audience. I'm going to go back now and read the book and compare it to the movie. I would say that suitability for children will definitely vary for each child. Voted Up and Interesting.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Interesting hub! I too think it a great thing that you chose to read these before reacting---

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

cclitgirl, thanks for this awesome comment! What you say about your childhood reading does show that kids will find writing that says something to them, one way or another! You are so right that it depends upon the kid. And from my experience, kids change in what they can handle in ways parents don't always expect.

I am amazed though that you read Crime and Punishment in junior level at high school. Is that around age 14 or 15? I I didn't read it till I took a class in Modernism when I was in my 30s, and found it quite shocking then. (Mind you I was pregnant at the time, so maybe that had an effect on me.) I've not read Terese Raquin, but having looked up the plot summary on Wikipedia, I can see why it would be disturbing for you as a teen.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Kelly, I think you are absolutely right - parents need to read the books too so that we can talk about them with their kids, and as you say discussing feelings is very important. I've started reading more of what my kids read now, and just finished "Slated," which is set in the UK, but I think it's going to be big everywhere.

Thanks for your comment!

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Your Cousins, I've only seen the UK version of the movie, which was slightly edited for violence. The books had more violence than our version of the movie, but of course much is dependent on the reader's imagination in a book. I hope you enjoy the trilogy, and thanks for your comment.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Audrey!

carterchas profile image

carterchas 4 years ago from Texas

Fantastic Review. Very thoughtful and insightful.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks carterchas, glad you enjoyed it.

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meliss4brass 3 years ago

People are overreacting about this book and movie. First of all, it isn't even good- it's a ripoff off Battle Royale. Second, people are freaking out over the "violence" in this movie. *sighs* Oh please. When I was 11 years old, Battle Royale (movie) came out and I watched it and it's still one of my favorite movies. In Battle Royale, the plot is same but there's a lot of stabbing, shooting, blood spraying, a decapitation, a more. If I was able to handle that and the extremely GRAPHIC (sexually and violently) manga at age 11, theses preteens can probably stand a cheesy ripoff minus the gore, humor, charm, and the character development which is shown in the amazing tale of Battle Royale.

Kara Skinner profile image

Kara Skinner 2 years ago from Maine

This was a really good hub, Melovy. I agree that kids as young as nine probably shouldn't be reading these books. But I think it's fine for teens because, like you said, it shows the long-term effects of violence instead of glorifying it. Also, because there is so much violence still in the world, I think these books help teens understand it better and make them more willing to help fight it.

Melovy profile image

Melovy 2 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Kara. Those are good points - it could help teens understand violence more and its effects.

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