Thursday, February 23, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Recommendation:  *** (3 Star)
As I wrote for The Hunger Games, the storyline is captivating, but it was difficult to deal with all the murder.

In this sequel to The Hunger Games, we find the story picks up right where it left off. Peeta and Katniss are the victors and are about to embark on their victory tour through each of the districts. We also learn that the government is not happy with them. Apparently they have started a revolution against the government and President Snow threatens Katniss if she doesn't do everything in her power to stop the revolution. Add to that the news that for this years Games, all the tributes will be selected from prior victors - which means she is going back to the Games.

Positives: Once again a captivating storyline. This book keeps the reader thoroughly engaged. The character development of Katniss in particular is intriguing and you feel her anguish and her ferocity as she wrestles through life.

Negatives: As with the first book there is plenty of murder, violence and drunkenness. Katniss in particular has very violent dreams and she also daydreams of how to murder President Snow. Katniss and Peeta kiss and one time Katniss describes her feelings during the kiss asa yearning that comes from deep inside her. Peeta tells everyone that Katniss is pregnant (this is a lie) and other tributes refer to her as "knocked up."

Talking Points: This book would yield discussion similar its predecessor The Hunger Games. If your child has read both books, continue your discussion on the preciousness and sanctity of human life. As people are created in the image of God (Gen. 1: 26-27) this sets them apart from every other created thing. God took this very seriously and gave us a command against murdering (Ex. 20: 13). Discuss with your child how a Christian should respond in the situation Katniss or the other tributes find themself in. Search the Scriptures with them to help them find a biblical basis for how Christians should respond.

Age Level: The publisher says for 13 years and up. As with The Hunger Games, I would highly  recommend parents read this book with their child or before they let their child read it. You are the best judge of your child's maturity to handle the violent subject matter.

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