Archive for the ‘Hunger Games’ Tag
…in fiction, that is. According to the Mayan calendar, the world is supposed to end on December 21, 2012. The end-date idea has been pretty much debunked. One debunking theory says that since the Mayan calendar did not contain Leap Years, which add one day to our calendar every four years to account for the fact that our trip around the sun actually takes 365.25 days, the end-date that they predicted has already passed. And we didn’t even notice!
But it’s interesting to imagine what our world could be after it stops being the world we currently know, and plenty of YA writers do just that! The genre called “Apocalyptic Fiction” has become super popular these days. Books in this genre are also sometimes called “post-apocalyptic” and/or “dystopian.” Now you’re wondering, is there a difference between apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, or are these all the same thing? If you’re looking for a new book that is like something else you’ve loved, it kind of helps to know what genre you really like. How are you supposed to know when all these great books are so confusingly classified within several different genres at once, all of which have confusing names?! Here’s a look:
Books in this genre encompass a lot of different story lines, like zombie apocalypse or a disease outbreak or a huge war. In apocalyptic fiction, we generally witness the actual apocalyptic event unfolding, and then follow our characters as they deal with the aftermath. But plenty of books that show us just the aftermath – technically the post-apocalyptic world – are also just called apocalyptic fiction. Sigh, it’s so confusing!
In dystopian fiction, there has sometimes been an apocalyptic event which lead to the re-creation of the world as a utopia. However, sometimes there has not been an apocalypse at all, the world has just changed completely in an imagined future. Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 are two very famous examples of dystopian fiction. In dystopian fiction, the author imagines a world that is designed to be perfect – a utopia – but is actually far from it. Dystopian books differ quite a bit from apocalyptic books, even if there was an apocalyptic event that spurred the creation of the “utopia” in which they are set, because they focus on how problematic the so-called utopia is. Think of books like Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series which imagines a new world governed by logic, and therefore supposedly perfect because that troublesome emotion of “love” is eradicated.
Books that fall into this category, like The Hunger Games, are trickier to define because they sometimes have elements of dystopia about them as well. But unlike what we call dystopian fiction they are not focused on the idea that the world in which the characters live is supposed to be perfect. Instead, the world is just barely hanging on after a serious event caused it to fall apart. We know that the Districts in The Hunger Games are badly planned out, and that the Capital is totally corrupt – they were not set up to be utopian, but to be repressive. The citizens are not supposed to feel lucky and special as they are in a utopia. Other examples of this genre include M.T. Anderson’s Feed, in which the world has all-but ended due to serious environmental collapse.
Come check out all the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction you can before the end-date arrives! (Or, you know, just to keep you occupied during the long days of winter break which is very quickly approaching…)
Every year, libraries, teachers, book stores and more, take one week to speak up about the practice of challenging and banning books and celebrate our freedom to read what we want to read. It’s called Banned Books Week and it is happening right now, September 30-October 6.
What exactly does it mean to ban or challenge a book? Books can be challenged by anyone who finds something wrong with them, based on the perceived values represented in the book. People can challenge the use of a book in a class, the existence of a book in a book store or library, or the very publication of a book. Challenges to books are based on their content, often content that is deemed inappropriate by whomever is bringing the challenge. School libraries and public libraries are both susceptible to people challenging materials that they own and/or make available for reading.
Up until the early part of the 20th century, the government was allowed to ban books and other materials from being distributed. Banning or challenging books is a form of censorship: someone (other than your own parents or guardian, who typically do have some control over your lives) telling you what you can or cannot read based on their beliefs, not yours. One formerly banned book, perhaps the most famous book ban in American history, is one you might read in high school: Ulysses by James Joyce. Thankfully, these days books are not often banned outright.
In most cases, the books that are challenged are those written for teenagers. The Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2011 include titles you might recognize: The Hunger Games, Lauren Myracle’s series ttyl, ttfn, and l8r g8r , The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and Cecily Von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl series. Find the full list here and on the display board in the teen area.
You can follow Banned Books Week on Twitter with the hashtag #bannedbooksweek.
Celebrate your freedom to read!
The Hunger Games Movie Party last night was amazing! We had 45 enthusiastic tributes who got Capital makeovers, designed t-shirts, dressed in costume, and won amazing prizes! Check out the pictures to see all the fun.
Join us March 22 from 7-9 p.m. for our Hunger Games Movie Release Party! Test your knowledge with Hunger Games trivia, show your love for the book by designing a t-shirt, come dressed as your favorite character for the costume contest, and prepare for the games with a Capital makeover. All this plus food and prizes! The library closes at 8 p.m., so make sure you’re here by 7 p.m. This event is recommended for students in 6th-12th grade.
For more info check out the Events page.
Entertainment Weekly has a feature article (with pics) about The Hunger Games movie! Check out a sneak peak.
What do you think of the casting? Are you excited for the movie?
Thanks to my friends over at the West Allis Public Library I heard that the title and cover of the third Hunger Games book has been announced! And check out what David Levithan, the editor, has to say about what won’t happen in Mockingjay. Only a few more months to wait for the amazing conclusion…Mockingjay will be released on August 24, 2010!