This book is worth every enthusiastic review it has already received. The story takes place in an unspecified year in the future in a land once known as North America, which is divided into twelve districts. Each district has a specialty that supposedly benefits the whole, and sixteen-year-old Katniss lives with her family in a district of coal miners. The rulers of Panem maintain control primarily by conducting an annual survival competition that pits young people from each district against one another. The competition is broadcast visually so that all districts can witness the events. When her younger sister is chosen as the female participant from District 12, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Together she and Peeta Mellark, the chosen male, journey to the Capitol to prepare for the Games. Katniss soon learns that not everyone can be trusted, even when those individuals can be counted on for some assistance, advice, and good luck. During both preparation and the actual Games, Katniss must rely on her own strengths and intuition, until she discovers that she cannot win without Peeta. The problem is that only one survivor can win the Games.
This is the first in a projected series and is highly recommended. The gory action, face-paced adventure, and suspense will appeal to boys of all ages, and there is just enough kissing to even further heighten girls’ interests, as well. Read this and then pass it along. (You might also want to try The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau or Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.)
Recommended for all ages.
Call number: YA COLLINS (Teen Room)
Reviewed by kate the librarian
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
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