The Hunger Games – Is it Appropriate for Tweens? I was asked this question the other day and didn’t have a good answer. Simply put, I hadn’t read it.
Let me also state, I have not seen the movie. Yet. There are a million and three reviews on whether the movie is appropriate for kids and teens. Tweens (kids 10-13) as well. This review is just for the books themselves.
I started the first book in the series by Suzanne Collins exactly 24 hours before I finished it. After hemming and hawing about how, just like Twilight, I was going to resist the hype.
Yeah, that lasted a hot minute after I learned it was about post-apocalyptic times. I’m fascinated by those types of stories. It started when I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy for a book club. I was gripped from beginning to end.
Same goes for The Hunger Games. It takes a little bit to get used to the writing style, but I kept in mind that this was geared towards the young adult crowd. I can look over run on sentences and the seemingly endless questions the narrator, a young girl named Katniss, has for herself along the story.
As for the gore, there is obviously killing going on, both in murder and suicide and naturally, attempts at both. There are some disturbing scenes painted in the book, but the narrator seems equally disturbed by what she is telling you as you are reading it.
There is enough of a love story and girly pampering to keep any young girls into it and plenty of violence and hunting for the boys reading it. I’d have no problem with my twelve year-old reading this, but definitely would not let my seven year-old read or see the movie anytime soon.
To me, personally, I think 12 is the cutoff for this book. I’d really have a hard time letting anyone younger reading it without feeling nervous about how they feel about the violence. That said, I doubt I will let my oldest boy watch the movie until I preview it for him. We don’t keep him in a cocoon, he’s seen The Dark Night and the Jaws trilogy for goodness sake, but if the movie is half as descriptive as the books, I’d want him to wait a bit before seeing it.
Now, if you need me, I’ll be knee deep in book 2, Catching Fire