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Tag: Hunger Games (1-8 of 8)

Hey grown-ups: should you be embarrassed to read YA books?

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Should adults be embarrassed about loving books meant for teens? With The Fault in Our Stars expected to take in as much as $45 million this weekend at the box office — in no small part due to the swarm of grown-ups eager to see Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters live on the big screen — Slate writer Ruth Graham poses a question that might make some fans squirm: Should adults be ashamed about indulging in “literature” meant for the school-aged set? READ FULL STORY

On the Books: 'Allegiant' outselling 'Hunger Games' preorders; two new 'Captain Underpants' books

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Divergent wins this week’s round in dystopian YA novel sales against Hunger Games, while Captain Underpants will be returning to shelves with two new installments. Read on for more today’s books headlines:

Veronica Roth’s Allegiant, the third title in her Divergent series, is outselling the Hunger Games in its first month of preorders at Amazon. [LA Times]

Scholastic announced two new Captain Underpants books by author Dav Pilkey: Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 will be released Aug. 26, 2014 and Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot will be published August 2015. [USA Today]

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt and senior vice president Jonathan Rosenberg partnered on a book deal with Grand Central Publishing’s business imprint to release No Adult Supervision Required: How to Build Successful 21st Century Companies. [Mediabistro]

Authors Jill Brooke and Emily Liebert are packaging merchandise including apparel, mugs and nail polish with their books to help unlock book sales on the retail level. [New York Post]

Here’s an update on the Nobel Prize in Literature: Writers are chiming in on why more Americans don’t win the Nobel Prize. Ian Crouch blames European snobbery, while Radhika Jones writes that she’s “baffled by the chorus that rises with every autumnal equinox, of American critics lobbying for American writers.”

Some adaptations news: The Fault in Our Stars announced its release date, and Leo Tolstoy’s classic War And Peace will be adapted into a six-part BBC series to be released in the U.K. in 2015.

On to some bad news and, well, more bad news: American adults’ reading skills are below average compared to adults in several other developed countries, and those reading skills are declining, according to a study of 160,000 people by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. [LA Times]

To help take your mind of that, check out author Mark Forsyth’s list of top 10 lost words, including sprunt and wamblecropt. [The Guardian]

Or give author Sarah Hall’s short story “Mrs Fox” a listen. The piece just won the BBC short story prize, garnering her £15,000 in award money. [BBC4]

Here's to you, Judy Blume: A toast to 'Tiger Eyes' and 'regular kid' lit

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Davey Wexler is not a witch. She’s not a skilled huntress, fighting for her life as a rapacious crowd watches her every move. She’s not even a clumsy, moody wallflower inadvertently drawn into a sexy world of immortal bloodsuckers.

Instead, Davey’s just, well… Davey, an average 15-year-old dealing with average teenage problems: the sudden death of a loved one, a big move to a new town and a new school, a best friend who drinks just a little too much. Nothing about her life is sensationalized, not even the bloody holdup that abruptly robs her of her father — which is probably why Davey resonated so deeply with me when I first met her in the late ’90s. (Her cool, androgynous name and relationship with a mysterious dude named Wolf didn’t hurt, either.)

And when Davey re-entered my life a few weeks ago — via Lawrence and Judy Blume’s new film adaptation of Tiger Eyes — I realized something else about her essential ordinariness: In a modern YA landscape glutted with fantastical dystopias, supernatural romances, brand-name-soaked glamoramas, and hyperbolic tragedy, what makes this heroine remarkable is the fact that she’s not very remarkable at all.

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Check this out: Book cakes for the hungry reader

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Reading is a hungry pastime. That’s why we can think of no better way to celebrate a love of words than these gorgeous book cakes, courtesy of Book Riot. Love Roald Dahl? Then cut into this tower of his classics. Can’t get enough of Jane Austen? Enjoy this gothic cake. Celebrating your fiftieth anniversary with your hubby? Keep your love life fresh with this Fifty Shades of Grey confection. In fact, we were so taken by these cakes that we scoured the internet for more. Check out our favorites below: READ FULL STORY

'Hunger Games' author Suzanne Collins' next book: 'Year of the Jungle'

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No, Suzanne Collins’ next book is not going to revisit Panem and Katniss Everdeen, but like The Hunger Games, it will focus on a young girl dealing with the harsh realities of war. Scholastic announced today that it will release Year of the Jungle, an autobiographical picture book, on Sept. 10, 2013. Illustrated by James Proimos, the book centers on Suzy, who must cope with her father’s absence as he serves in Vietnam. She counts down the days until her father’s return, and when he finally comes back, Suzy finds that the war has changed him but he loves her all the same. In a press release, Collins explained the inspiration behind Year of the Jungle: READ FULL STORY

'Charlotte's Web' tops list of '100 great books for kids'

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Scholastic Parent & Child magazine released a new list of 100 great books for kids and gave the top spot to Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White’s classic children’s novel about a girl and a talking spider who join forces to save a pig from slaughter. Charlotte’s Web edged out the ubiquitous picture book Goodnight Moon. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone represented J.K. Rowling’s entire series in the No. 6 spot, and The Hunger Games, one of the newer titles on the list, claimed No. 33. I do applaud the exclusion of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer — not all wildly popular franchises deserve to make the cut.

The list is meant to “generate controversy and conversation,” said Parent & Child editor-in-chief Nick Friedman, so if they’re inviting gripes, I have to complain about the placement of Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth (referred to as “Phantom T” on last night’s episode of New Girl) outside of the top 10 and the relative scarcity of Dr. Seuss. But mostly I appreciate being reminded of some great children’s books I haven’t thought about in a while, like Frog and Toad Are Friends and Hatchet.

Let’s “generate controversy and conversation!” What do you think of Scholastic’s list? Any surprise inclusions or exclusions?

EW Shelf Life Book Club: 'Mockingjay'

Like many of you, I’ve finished Mockingjay–tearing through it at top speed, just as I did The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. And I have to say that although I loved it, and thought it brought the whole trilogy to a perfect end, I know not everyone does. That’s what this book club will be about–not so much reviewing a particular book, but hashing it out, talking about things we liked and didn’t like, speculating on what an author really meant by a certain plot twist or development. I’m curious to know what all of you think.

So, with that in mind, here’s where I’m at, a few days after finishing Mockingjay. (Anyone who hasn’t finished the book, STOP HERE! There are SPOILERS below.)

There’s a lot out there in the media about the violence and brutality of the book. Sheryl Cotleur, who works for a California bookstore, wrote in an op-ed piece, “It seems to me [the books] go beyond the usual mayhem….Now we have not only children killing children, we have electrocution, drowning, burning, stabbing, being injected by virulent venom and more torture than I can recall in any young adult novel I’ve ever read.” For her part, Collins told Library Journal recently, “One of the reasons it’s important for me to write about war is I really think that the concept of war, the specifics of war, the nature of war, the ethical ambiguities of war are introduced too late to children. I think they can hear them, understand them, know about them, at a much younger age without being scared to death by the stories. It’s not comfortable for us to talk about, so we generally don’t talk about these issues with our kids. But I feel that if the whole concept of war were introduced to kids at an earlier age, we would have better dialogues going on about it, and we would have a fuller understanding.” She also says that she hopes readers will come away from the books with “questions about how elements of the books might be relevant in their own lives. And, if they’re disturbing, what they might do about them.” For my part, I think that yes, the brutality is graphic–it occasionally made me flinch–but I also think Collins would not have been able to make her point about the futility of war unless she described it honestly. And real war isn’t  guts and glory. It’s unspeakably horrible. People (often people you love) go out and kill other people.

So: your thoughts on the violence? Too much for the book? Were you ever bothered by Katniss’ ability to kill ruthlessly? How did you feel about the combat scenes?

I’m reading a lot–mostly on various blogs–about the outcome of the Katniss/Peeta/Gale love triangle. Some readers seem incredibly disappointed that Katniss ended up with Peeta, not Gale, and they think the book ended with a whimper. When I first read it, I thought it was a little flat. But it’s grown on me. For one thing, it’s realistic. In war, even the “winners” don’t really win; they’ve sacrificed so much and seen so much and lost so much. Both Katniss and Peeta are injured (both physically and emotionally) and worn down. In retrospect, Katniss’ quiet resignation in the final pages seems fitting to me. But let’s hear it: Who thought she should have ended up with Gale? Why? What did you all think of the ending itself?

Finally, taking the trilogy as a whole, I’m left not just with Collins’ powerful anti-war message but with an indelible image of Katniss in my head. I honestly think she’s a fictional character for the ages, that these books are going to be around for a long, long, time. You?

Cast your vote: Who should play Katniss (and Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, and Effie) in 'The Hunger Games'?

ronan-lovato-dobrev-watsonImage Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos; David Gabber/PR PhotosWhen we asked last week who’d make the perfect Katniss, we got inundated with responses. What’s more, lots of you cast the rest of the books as well. As for myself, I’m still dithering over Katniss since it’s the most critical role (and the one that would be easiest to screw up–get Katniss wrong and none of the movies will work). In my mind’s eye she’s like a young Lisbeth Salander, wiry, dark, and fierce.  Maybe Saoirse Ronan with dark hair? I’m less conflicted when it comes to Peeta (Lucas Till) and Gale (Drew Roy). But I have no idea how to choose among the actors suggested for Haymitch and Effie. In their own way, each one seems pitch-perfect.

So, Hunger Games fans, cast your votes! We’ll put up our results later in the week.

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