Monday, March 12, 2012

My Kid Made Me Do It

I read The Hunger Games back in March of 2009 (I keep track of these things. It's sad, I know). I enjoyed it so much, I ordered a class set and read it with my students. I'd never seen kids so into a book.

My last two groups have loved the book as well. Even the kids who boast that they don't like reading can't deny it, they now have a favorite book.

Many of my students became obsessed, immediately devouring the rest of the series. They came to me, the one who turned them on to this incredible story. Surely I would talk to them, validate all the feelings they were having. They were dumbfounded when I told them I hadn't read Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

I'm not sure why, I just wasn't interested. Sequels in general just aren't my thing. When I heard about the movie, I figured Catching Fire and Mockingjay would follow, and that's how I'd get the rest of the story. Not a problem, that's how I did Harry Potter. Read the first one, waited for the movies.

Then my kid read The Hunger Games for her mother/daughter book club. She knocked out Catching Fire and Mockingjay, and has been bugging me ever since to read them. She's already flummoxed that I won't finish Harry Potter, so I gave in.

I read Catching Fire about a month ago. I wish I could say I loved it, but the truth is, Katniss got on my nerves. She sounded like a whiny teenager, "OMG, I have to fight for my life again? Why don't Gale and Peeta understand me?" I don't know, I wasn't buying it.

My kid is losing her mind about The Hunger Games movie. She bought a couple magazines that have Hunger Games posters to hang in her room. Her excitement reminds me of how I felt about the Stars Wars movies. That kind of excitement has to be honored, so I pushed through and read Mockingjay. I finished this weekend, and I could tell it meant a lot to Scout.

So even though Catching Fire and Mockingjay didn't do it for me, I'm glad I read them. I'm part of the club now.

How 'bout you? Are you a fan of the books? Looking forward to the movie?

17 comments:

  1. ha! good for you!
    and sequels dont usually measure up to the original...
    but i am really excited about the movie too!
    and get this, not only are the 8th graders here reading it, the entire 8th grade class (700 kids) are going to see it for a field trip!!

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    1. That's a field trip those kids will never forget!

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  2. I did like Catching Fire, but I was one of those who was disappointed with Mockingjay. Hated the ending. Agree Katniss was a whiner in that one.

    And, oh, Tim you are so headed for the rapids with your daughters and their crushes. Teen years are coming right? Hehe...

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    1. I liked Mockingjay more than Catching Fire, but I guess it all just felt too inevitable for me. The epilogue felt tacked on-even my kid thought so.

      The rapids-good metaphor. Is one ever ready for such a thing?

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  3. I've read them as well. I'm a modest fan, and I have recommended them fairly often (to people I was pretty sure would like them).

    I'll probably watch the movie as well, though I'm in no rush.

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    1. "a modest fan" - good way to put it. That's probably how I would classify myself. Well, a big fan of the first book, modest appreciation of the next two.

      As for the movie, my kid's enthusiasm is rubbing off. I'm pretty excited to see it with her.

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  4. The Hunger Games is gonna be the biggest movie of the year raking in billions of dollars. And yet...I'll go see it in week two at a matinee because I suspect it will be terrible. I didn't enjoy the book; the movie will have eye-candy and some special effects that will warrant spending some money to see while munching popcorn.

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    1. I am cautiously optimistic that the movie will be good. I'm more interested to see what my daughter thinks. Her expectations are sky high, so I hope she's happy with it anyway.

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  5. I was very skeptical of all of the hype until a good friend who has great taste suggested this series. I really enjoyed the first book and I am really looking forward to the movie! I am recovering movie buff as it is a priority way down the list to others at this point in our life with 2 young boys BUT I am already making plans to see this movie when it arrives in our small town. Catching Fire does not have the same passion as the first book but I am still enjoying it. I will read Mockinjay.

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    1. It's definitely hard to get to the theater with little ones. I think Hunger Games will be worth the effort.

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  6. I've had that book in a stack for months. Daughter just said she wanted to see the movie, so I suggested we read the book first. Sounds like we really ought to get to it. It's great to share books with your kids.

    I'm not good w/sequels, either. ;)

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    1. Sharing books with your kids certainly adds a whole new dimension to the reading experience. One of the great things about being a parent.

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  7. I read the first one. Enjoyed it. I then watched Battle Royale and enjoyed it more (more humor). I think the post-apocalypse will arrive with a sense of humor, it will undoubtedly carry with it a butt-load of irony.

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    1. I've heard about Battle Royale, have to check it out. It was a book right? Did you read it?

      Meg was very excited to see your comment on her blog.

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  8. Haven't read them, but might have to check them out now. Thanks.

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    1. Hunger Games is definitely worth a read.

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  9. I read all three about a month ago. Devoured them. The first one is the best but they're all going to make for great movies if they're done right.

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