Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hunger Games Book club meeting

I have a book club meeting tonight. I've organized it but conned a friend into holding it at her house.

So, we're discussing The Hunger Games, and I made it a potluck BYOB (Bring your own bread) to go with our discussion. I'm not sure how many will show up. I picked Hunger Games because some had probably already read it. (I really liked it, btw.)

Here are the discussion questions I came up with (Some were taken or paraphrased from Scholastic's site):

1. How does Katniss feel about the country of Panem? Does she feel as strongly as Gale?

2. How do Katniss’s relationships define her personality? How does her early encounter with Peeta affect their relationship after they are chosen as tributes?

3. How are the "career tributes" different from the others? Which were more tragic—the tributes that had been raised to believe there was honor in killing others in the games, or those that were fighting to stay alive by receiving supplies through their entries into the draw?

4. When Peeta declares his love for Katniss in the interview, does he really mean it or did Haymitch create the "star-crossed lovers" story?

5. Before the Games start, Peeta tells Katniss, "I want to die as myself… I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not." Is he able to stay true to himself during the Games?

6. What are the most important skills Katniss has for staying alive - her knowledge of nature? - her skill with bow and arrow? - her trapping ability?

7. Why does Peeta join with the Career Tributes in the beginning of the Games? Why do they accept him when they start hunting as a group? Why do groups form in the beginning when they know only one of them will be able to survive?

8. What makes Katniss and Rue trust each other to become partners? What does Katniss gain from this friendship besides companionship?

9. Discuss the ways in which the Gamemakers control the environment and "entertainment" value of the Games. Does knowing that she is on live TV make Katniss behave differently than she would otherwise?

10. When does Katniss first realize that Peeta does care for her and is trying to keep her alive? When does she realize her own feelings for him? Are they actually in love?

11. What did you think of the contradiction that Katniss lived in a futuristic society but spent her days hunting primitively with a bow and arrow? Once the games began, did you occasionally forget that this book was set far in the future?

12. Reality TV has been a part of the entertainment world since the early days of television (with shows such as Candid Camera and the Miss America Pageant), but in the 21st century there has been a tremendous growth of competitive shows and survival shows. Discuss this phenomenon with respect to The Hunger Games. What other aspects of our popular culture do you see reflected in this story?

13. How did you feel when the first tribute was killed? When Rue died? When Katniss realized the wolves were the fallen tributes?

14. When do you think Katniss began to see a greater point to the games than just staying alive?

15. What minor characters played major roles in shaping Katniss’s view of the government… of herself? The Avox? Cinna? Her mother? Thresh?

16. Why did Katniss seem blind to the feeling of some around her especially Peeta? Was it her upbringing or that she couldn’t imagine a future where her children would be sacrificed to the Hunger Games?

17. What other books is The Hunger Games similar to?

18. This book is considered a dystopian (a vision of a society, often futuristic, characterized by human misery. Often the individual’s rights and needs are sacrificed to the benefit of government or what is considered right for the greater or moral good.) What past societies or governments have shared the brutality seen in Panem?

19. Why did the ruling class hold so much power in Panem? What signs of dissidence were shown throughout the book?

20. As this is a trilogy, do you think the trilogy will end with the fall of the Capitol? Who do you believe Katniss will choose in the final book—Peeta or Gale?


  1. Sounds like it's going to be a really fun and interesting discussion. This book has been at the top of my to-read list for some time and I think I'm going to be heading to a bookstore this weekend for a copy!

  2. I am starting this over the weekend! I can't wait...

  3. My book club would have no questions -- we'd just have a reenactment of the book -- BYOW (W = weapon :)

  4. You're so lucky. I have one friend who reads and she reads vampire series' (like CHarlene Harris), not something I'm interested in.

  5. Too funny, Bane!

    Jen, I think I'm going to start it this weekend, too. I was bummed the local libraries have had it checked out for weeks. Looks like a visit to B&N is in store for me!