If you haven’t read The Hunger Games trilogy yet, you have until March 20th, 2012 to start reading it before the movie is released. Keep in mind, the movie is released March 23rd, but you’ll need the three days prior to read all three books. Why can you procrastinate so long in reading the books? Because they’re so good you won’t be able to stop reading them, therefore you’ll breeze through them in as little as three days.
One of the major reasons The Hunger Games trilogy is so absorbing is the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. She’s a fantastic role model in young adult fiction for being strong, selfless and more focused on doing the right thing than whether a boy likes her. She can take care of herself, her family and (symbolically) the Districts.
Her demeanor is serious; having grown up in the poorest District, District 12, her family has struggled to survive ever since her father died in a coal mine explosion. With Mrs. Everdeen steeped in grief and unable to take care of Katniss and her younger sister, Prim, Katniss stepped up to find food, eventually learning to (illegally) hunt and trade her kills for food and other necessities in The Hob. Despite her hard life, she still finds joy in hunting with her friend Gale and her family. Her family is everything to her, to the point where she offers herself in place of Prim when Prim’s name is selected in The Reaping to be the female District 12 tribute in the Capitol’s annual Hunger Games. Katniss makes this sacrifice even though this most likely means she’ll die, as District 12 tributes rarely win.
Her selflessness goes beyond her family; when her fellow tribute Peeta is injured during the games, she tries to figure out ways to get him the help he needs, even though some of the methods of attaining help make her uncomfortable. Later, she’s asked to be a symbol of the rebellion, and she agrees to do it; she cares so much that she’s often willing to put her own life on the line rather than stay safe behind the scenes.
Throughout the Hunger Games trilogy, she fights to survive; while she has blood on her hands, it’s never without just reasoning, and it’s never without emotional pain. She doesn’t kill for sport; instead she does what she can to stay righteous in the extenuating circumstances in which she finds herself. Even knowing that she’s only doing what she has to do, the reader can’t help but admire that Katniss is a BAMF. Her archery skills are breathtaking, and she’s athletic, resourceful and smart. To show the Gamekeepers just how bad-@$$ she is when they’re “ranking” the Tributes, she shoots an arrow right past the main Gamekeeper’s head; at that moment, the reader realizes that Katniss has a better chance of winning the Games than previously thought.
Katniss Everdeen is awesome because she’s an ordinary person; a strong, good person who has been entered into extreme circumstances, and shows through her actions that she can – and will – persevere.
Image copyright Lionsgate and Color Force.