Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Festival Roundup and Giveaway

Suzanne Collins was the uber rock star of the Teens tent at the National Book Festival where kids and adults alike spilled out around her like die hard fans. In tightly-packed seats, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the wings, or sitting on the small available ground space, no crevice was left unattended.

While Collins has had a prolific writing career with television shows on Nickelodeon (e.g. "Clarissa Explains it All") and her Gregor and the Overlander series, the real phenomenon that propelled her into the spotlight is The Hunger Games.

It spent 92 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List. It's been praised by everyone from Stephen King to Rick Riordan to Stephenie Meyer. And the film rights have been purchased by Lions Gate. The Hunger Games is part one of a three-part series (others include Catching Fire and Mockingjay).

Here's a little about The Hunger Games:
In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining districts female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins' characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like Survivor and American Gladiator.

I listened to Collins discuss the inspiration for the novel. She said late one night she was channel surfing and kept flipping back and forth between coverage on the War in Iraq and a reality show with young people and suddenly the line between the two seemed to blur. War and its effect on young people have always been major themes for not only her work but her life. Collins' father was a career serviceman and they moved from base to base.

Collins said she's always loved Greek mythology and the story of Theseus has stood out as children were forced to fight, something that Collins says is the worst form of repression: "We won't hurt you; we'll hurt your children," Collins explained. This served as part of the basis of The Hunger Games along with Collins' love of all things gladiator and the more modern phenomenon of reality television. Coupled together it's been called "addictive," "poignant," "brilliantly plotted," and "a near-perfect adventure novel." A Webcast of Collins and all of this year's authors will be posted here shortly.

And so I waited in this line...

to get and giveaway this...

That's right, I'm doing another book contest. Rules are simple:
1. Contest runs until 5 pm EST October 18
2. You must be a follower of my blog
3. One extra entry if you Facebook, Tweet, or blog about this contest
4. One extra entry if you comment on this blog post
5. Two extra entries for each friend you refer
6. You must email me to let me know you're entering the contest. (Write "Hunger Games Contest" in the subject line and if you've referred a friend(s) or posted the contest information elsewhere include that too. You can email or click on my picture under "followers.")

Good luck!


  1. Mmmm, I love those kinds of dystopian stories. And a recommendation from Stephen King is all I need, really.

  2. I would love to enter the contest. ;)
    ellamf at gmail dot com/ elladsm2002 at yahoo dot com

  3. I am a follower of your blog via GFC and tweeted about it!/bellasearcher/status/26168257287.
    about to email you to let you know am entering

  4. This is such an amazing book!! The story is beautiful, brutal, romantic and painfull all at the same time!! The world created by Collins is really amazing!!

    I can't wait to read Catching Fire!!