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book club

Suzanne Collins is my new hero

I’ve recently fallen in love.

With an author.

If you’ve been around the internet in ways that have to do anything with books, and perhaps even movies, you’ve probably heard of The Hunger Games. I mean, following me on twitter for more than a couple months almost guarantees that you’ll hear mention of it. (Especially if you follow Katelin as well.) I found the series at the end of last summer when the third book of the trilogy came out and there was all sorts of celebration about it at work. (I work at a bookstore.)

I love the messages in the books, the internal struggles that Katniss faces and the fact that she does actually face them.

I recently came across a book in the children’s section at work with a familiar name on the cover.

Gregor the Overlander is the first of the five books that make up The Underland Chronicles. I quickly read the back and went home with the first book in the series that night. On my next shift I bought the second, third and fifth book (we were out of the fourth).

It took me less than 24 hours to get through the second and I’ve distracted myself as much as possible with the third because I don’t want to finish it without having the fourth to read. Luckily, I work tomorrow. So not only can I buy it tomorrow, I can read all I want tonight!

I really love that while I was reading the first book, there were things that reminded me of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and then when I read through the notes in the back of the book, Suzanne Collins says that she was inspired to write an urban version of the classic that kids now could relate to a bit more. I think she did a great job.

What’s even better for me is that there are definite things that come up in both series. Missing fathers, sibling bonds, both things that are obviously important to Collins. She goes about dealing with them in different ways though which I enjoy.

Then there’s the way that she puts a little different spin on things. Maybe it’s not so different, but I don’t really know how to explain it. Things like Katniss not wanting to use her excellent hunting skills because she knows that this will be against humans and Gregor actually feeling sorry for people who are mean to him because he understands that there must be something worse happening for them.

Sure, Gregor is a little mature for an 11 year old, but I actually like that about the series. It can be a little frustrating to read it as an adult, because some of the logic I can’t see in a 6th grader, but for actual elementary school students to read I think it’s great. I think that students should be reading characters that have mature aspects to them. Book characters can be role models just like television and movie characters, and I prefer to set the bar just a little high rather than a little low.

If you’re a fan of the Hunger Games series, or you’re open to children’s literature, I encourage you to read these books. I’ve loved them, and I’d love to hear other books that you like if you like these!

Got anything for me to read while you catch up?

Oh, right, I read!

I don’t think I’ve shared here the blogger book club that Ashley unintentionally started about a month ago.

Well, that summer reading is starting today! I’m not always the best about not spoiling things, so I would recommend that you just join us, so I don’t have to feel bad about it!

I know very little about this book other than it’s on the “Hipster Reads” endcap at work.

I will be doing as much reading as possible in cut off jeans and plaid shirts, neither of which have been washed in far too long.