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The acclaimed author of the "New York Times"-bestselling Underland Chronicles series delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in a stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to the present.
Suzanne Collins is the author of the blockbuster series The Hunger Games, which has topped both hardcover and paperback bestseller lists and which has garnered a huge fan following of both children and adults. Because her father was in the military, Suzanne and her family moved frequently during her childhood. When she was six, he was sent by the Air Force to serve in Vietnam. He also taught military history at West Point and was determined to educate his own children about world events and the horrors of war--themes Collins would later revisit in her books. They lived for a time in Brussels, and she remembers how her father--aware that she liked a large field of poppies that grew outside of the family's home--connected it to the World War I-era poem "In Flanders Field," which honors soldiers buried in a similar field. Collins believes that it is important for young people to understand the ramifications of violence at an early age. "If we wait too long [to teach them], what kind of expectation can we have?" she has said. "We think we're sheltering them, but what we're doing is putting them at a disadvantage." After earning a master's degree in dramatic writing from New York University, she began her professional career by penning scripts for children's television shows, including CLARISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL. Her first young-adult series, The Underland Chronicles, focuses on a boy who must navigate a fantastical land hidden beneath the streets of New York City. While those books won her many fans, her next effort, The Hunger Games, brought her a new level of fame. Collins has explained how she got the idea for the series, about a dystopia in which young people are chosen to fight to the death once a year for the entertainment of an audience: "I was channel surfing between reality TV programming and actual war coverage when [the] story came to me," she has said. "One night I'm sitting there flipping around and on one channel there's a group of young people competing for, I don't know, money maybe? And on the next, there's a group of young people fighting an actual war. And I was tired, and the lines began to blur in this very unsettling way, and I thought of this story." Collins oversaw the screenplay for the 2012 film version of the first book in the trilogy, which earned more than $150 million the first weekend of its release. While the media frenzy surrounding her books has been compared to that generated by the HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT series, Collins prefers to stay out of the spotlight--living with her actor husband and children and giving few interviews.
"With clear inspiration from Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and the Greek tale of Theseus, Collins has created a brilliantly imagined dystopia, where the Capitol is rich and the rest of the country is kept in abject poverty, where the poor battle to the death for the amusement of the rich. Impressive world-building, breathtaking action and clear philosophical concerns make this volume, the beginning of a planned trilogy, as good as THE GIVER and more exciting"
"Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing."
"[A] brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced new novel...[T]he considerable strength of the novel comes in Collins's convincingly detailed world-building and her memorably complex and fascinating heroine. In fact, by not calling attention to itself, the text disappears in the way a good font does: nothing stands between Katniss and the reader, between Panem and America."
"SURVIVOR meets "the Lottery" as the author of the popular Underland Chronicles returns with what promises to be an even better series...Collins has written a compulsively readable blend of science fiction, survival story, unlikely romance, and social commentary."
From the Publisher
THE HUNGER GAME --heralded by critics as reminiscent of reality television's SURVIVOR, Shirley Jackson's disturbing short story "The Lottery," and other apocalyptic fare--takes place in Panem, where North America once existed. Amidst the desperation of the poor and the tyranny of the wealthy, a terrifying annual event called the Hunger Games pits 24 poverty-stricken kids against one another until only one triumphs. When Katniss's sister is chosen, she takes her place and must fight for not only her life but the welfare of everyone in her district. With humor and clever plotting, Suzanne Collins has created a thrilling and gripping series. A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2008 and a New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2008.