Catching Fire: The Hunger Games, Book 2

Common Sense Media says

Sequel just as gripping -- and brutal -- as the first.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Teen fans may want to explore the other books in this series. Check out the questions in our "Families Can Talk About" section for ideas to help your teen readers connect with this book's themes.

Positive messages

The story is equally rich in provocative political and social commentary, and exploring epic themes of morality, obedience, oppression, rebellion, redemption, sacrifice, and, of course, survival.

Positive role models

Katniss, a winner of the Hunger Games and now looked upon as the leader of this uprising, is a strong character whose character is much more developed in this sequel. Through her journey, readers can explore many big ideas.

Violence

Violence is plentiful, but not gory or graphic in detail. Cinna, an important secondary character, is beaten and tortured as a suspected rebel. The last third of the novel depicts vivid fight-to-the-death horrors in a truncated Hunger Games re-enactment, including brutal hand-to-hand combat, poisoning, spearing and stabbing.

Sex

A few kisses between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An adult is a described as "drunk as a skunk" in one scene and a teen takes a few gulps from his bottle. A minor character is described as intoxicated.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this follow-up to The Hunger Games concerns a TV tournament in which 20 teens fight a gruesome battle to the death. The violence, while not gory or graphic in detail, is plentiful. Fighting involves primitive weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, poisoning, and spearings and stabbings. The futuristic government that sponsors the event terrorizes and tortures citizens that revolt.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Katniss and Peeta, rich and famous from having won the annual Hunger Games, are reluctanly embarking on a Capitol-sponsored victory tour through the 12 districts of the dystopian world Panem. They are now seen as a threat to oppressive Capitol, having defied the Gamemakers with their subversive victory. This act of rebellion has ignited growing unrest within the districts. To her dismay, Katniss is looked upon as the leader of this uprising. Katniss briefly considers escaping with her family and friends before reluctantly assuming her role as rebel leader. The insidious President Snow is prepared to do whatever is necessary to quash this budding uprising.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Collins does not disappoint in this enthralling, entirely satisfying sequel. The pace is a little slower and the emphasis more on character than plot -- Katniss grows considerable as a character -- but readers will find CATCHING FIRE as much of a gripping page-turner as The Hunger Games.  More of the story takes place outside the arena than within, but there is plenty of action-packed combat.

Collins offers readers intriguing insights into the nation of Panem: its power structure, rumors of a secret district, and the spreading rebellion. The story is equally rich in provocative political and social commentary, and exploring epic themes of morality, obedience, oppression, rebellion, redemption, sacrifice and, of course, survival. The author also creates a tantalizing and unresolved love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale that will leave questioning readers desperate for the next installment. This novel can stand alone but readers will have a much a richer experience if they begin with The Hunger Games.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about all the rich themes in this book. Considering current reality TV offerings and America's cultural obsession with violence, how hard is it to imagine people killing one another as entertainment? What are some examples from the past in which such "entertainment" did exist?

  • Are there any TV programs or video games that remind remind you of the Hunger Games tournament? How are they similar?

  • What does the Capitol do to people in the distrcits that can be called oppressive? Are there governments in the world today that could be considered as oppressive? 

  • What lengths would you go to in order to survive?

  • Why is Katniss the best person to be the symbolic leader of the uprising? What are Katniss' true feelings towards Gale and Peeta?

Book details

Author:Suzanne Collins
Genre:Science Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Scholastic Press
Publication date:September 1, 2009
Number of pages:400
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17
Read aloud:12
Read alone:12

This review of Catching Fire: The Hunger Games, Book 2 was written by

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Written byAnonymous April 21, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Good book

Only on the fourth chapter and I'm already mad about this book. The author of this book is a sheer genius. Katniss Everdeen displays a way of getting through teen issues and the ups and downs of being a winner of the Hunger games. She makes mistakes, but she makes those mistakes for the good of her family, friends, and the rest of her country. Though the whole book has one theme that keeps coming up. This theme is that the government can not and should to be trusted. In the beginning of the book the president is described as smelling strongly of roses and blood. It may scare some kids and the books draw you into the next book. The last one, I am told, is violent, bloody, and depressing. My friend said it was like watching a train-wreak, you don't want to watch, but you just have to. She said it was good though...
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byXPURPLElemonadex August 14, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Simply epic. What more, it's full of HUMANS!

Its one of the best books I've read in a very long time. Its honestly impossible to put down. Katniss is an amazing teen heroine and her story is amazing. This book had me laughing, crying, gasping... everything I need! It was actually quite educational! If I ever get stranded in a rainforest, I'll know exactly what to do :P The only thing that annoyed me was the ending. It left too much of a cliffhanger for my taste, although I will be at the bookstore the day it opens to by Mockingjay, the sequel and last part of the trilogy.
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 14 and 16 year old Written bymovieviewermom July 23, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A great read for teens and adults

This book (and Hunger Games before it) was hard to put down. Of course you know the heroine will survive, but it was still very suspenseful. My teenagers gobbled these books up. Due to the violence I wouldn't recommend this book for elementary aged kids. Anxiously awaiting Mockingjay......
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old December 29, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Very very good!

Not as good as the first but still very good. Some people below have put that it is not appropriate for teens but I disagree. One the best books I have ever read. It made me laugh and cry.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models

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