Saturday, September 3, 2011

May the odds be ever in your favor

MTV recently premiered a trailer for the movie The Hunger Games, long awaited video version of the wildly popular book series. 
We see Katniss running through the forest with Peeta’s voice over the action.  Not a lot to see in terms of the movie but enough to get fans talking.  As with Harry Potter, this series is one fans want to see done “right”—so the movie looks like what they imagined as they read the book without leaving out any important details or events.  And similar to the Lord of the Rings series, filming has already begun on the next book in the series, Catching Fire.  So the movie will be either wildly successful and a great trilogy or a bust from the get-go if the first one doesn’t generate the buzz the studio is hoping for.

All I know is since school has started, I’ve had numerous requests for the three books in the series and our multiple copies are all checked out with a long waiting list.  I would like to think the excitement was due to the great story line but I suspect the VMA’s broadcasting on tv right as school started may have played a large part in generating the buzz. But whatever works to get kids talking about books, I’ll take it!

I do know kids talk about this series just like they used to talk about the Harry Potter series.  They discuss the action in the plot-“Should Katniss have taken her sisters’ place in the Games?  Why isn’t Haymitch more helpful?”  To hear this kind of a discussion without a teacher prompt warms my heart!

 And the three main characters provoke strong reactions - you hear the about the Katniss, Gale and Peeta triangle just like we were hearing about Bella, Edward and Jacob.  I’m waiting for the Team Gale/ Team Peeta shirts to come out with the movie!  Only these shirts won’t have sparkles—they’ll glow with fire!
I love it when a series makes kids talk among themselves—that’s literacy education in action!  No choreographed reading groups, no writing assignments, no questions to answer about each chapter-just students sharing their love of a story.  Kudos to Suzanne Collins for a well written, engaging series.  Now let’s hope the movie lives up the book and all the marketing “sneak peaks.” 
The movie is scheduled for a March 2012 premier.   How many kids can you get to read the series before then?  May the odds be ever in your favor.

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