Paul Flaherty – Letter Essay #6 – The Hunger Games

As of now, I am about 250 pages into the book The Hunger Games, a 374 page, dystopian novel by Suzanne Collins. Collins was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1962. This book was published 10 years ago, in 2008.

The author, Suzanne Collins, said that the book was based off of the Greek myth, Theseus and the Minotaur. In this story, people were chosen to be sent to an island where they would enter a labyrinth to try and defeat the Minotaur. The Hunger Games, though, were used for “entertainment” purposes. Popular author Stephen King, talking about the book, he said, “A violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense… I couldn’t stop reading.” To this day, The Hunger Games Trilogy has sold over 65 million copies, both digitally and printed worldwide. I chose to read this book because I have heard many great things about this book. Also, I have seen the movie that came out in 2012. I really wanted to see how the movie differs from what happens in the book.

In the novel, Katniss Everdeen wants to survive her last Games without her and her family being chosen to participate. The Hunger Games is an event that takes place every year where kids are put against one another in a fight ot the death. But, at the drawing of the names, Katniss’ sister, Primrose, was chosen to compete. So, being a brave big sister, Katniss volunteers herself to take Prim’s spot in the Games.

Katniss wants to win, but a lot of the other kids participating in the Games have already formed alliances and trust between them, while Katniss has no one. So, Katniss goes into the Games without anyone to team with and the fear that she will never see her family again.

I was surprised when Katniss volunteered herself to compete in the games instead of her sister. As the book said, “Family devotion only goes as far as most people on reaping day (26).” This goes to show that most people care more about themselves than their families. Also, District 12 hasn’t had a volunteered herself to compete in the Games in many years. This was surprising to me because Katniss is risking her life for her sister, not knowing if she is going to make it home alive, which is a very brave thing to do. This shows that she really cares for her sister and doesn’t want to see her get killed. This is why I found this surprising.

I liked the way the author created suspense for the reader and kept them hooked in. The earliest example of this in the book is when someone’s name was going to be drawn from the bowl. On page 20, Effie Trinket is drawing the names of the people that will be competing in the Games. “Effie Trinket crosses back to the podium, smooth the slip of paper and reads out the name in a clear voice And it’s not me (20).” This part of the book left me asking myself questions. Who’s name was be called? Is Katniss upset about who’s name was called? Is it Katniss’ name? All of this creates the suspense in my mind and makes me want to continue to read on. This is a very important skill and I am glad that it is present in this book.

The character development in this book was very well done. Suzanne Collins developed Katniss Everdeen to be a character that everybody can love and get to know. This makes the book really good. It helps us relate to the characters and what they are feeling, not necessarily what they are doing. This is important because it makes the reader feel as though they are a part of the book. Also, though she only in the beginning, Collins also developed Primrose really well. She did a nice job of showing the relationship between the sisters, Katniss and Primrose and what they will do for eachother.

One passage that really stood out to me was when there was only 6 people left in the Games. Claudius Templesmith, a Hunger Games announcer, called over the microphone and said that there could be two winners this year, as long as they are from the same district.

“The news sinks in. Two tributes can win this year. If they’re from the same district. Both can live. Both of us can live.”

“Before I can stop myself, I call out Peeta’s name (244).”

What I really like about this passage is that it shows the author’s ability to make a big change to the story. There went from being one winner to two winners, which meant that Peeta and Katniss could both be winners. This gives Katniss a better chance at winning and makes the story a lot more exciting for the reader. It adds another challenge for Katniss. Now Katniss has to find Peeta and then win the game with him. All in all, this book was very good and was just as good as the movie. The Hunger Games, so far, deserves a 8 out of 10.


Paul Flaherty


Here is the trailer to The Hunger Games movie:

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5 thoughts on “Paul Flaherty – Letter Essay #6 – The Hunger Games

  1. Hello Paul,

    I really liked and enjoyed reading your essay I saw that you had put a lot of time and work in it. I also likes how you structured your letter essay and kept it organized and understandable

    Nice Work,

    Aidan Ordway

  2. Dear Paul,

    I have heard about The hunger games before but never understood what it was

    about, with your letter essay, I now do so thank you. I think you did a really good

    job and you should continue like this!



  3. Howdy Paul,

    I have read the Hunger Games (twice) and would read it three more times! I really like how you wrote you essay, not giving to much away but giving a general gist of the book.

    May the odds be ever in your favor,
    Conor Glynn

  4. Hey Paul,

    I really enjoyed reading your Letter-Essay. I thought it was really well written and was very clear. I had read this book before, and I think that you did a great job with the summary and not giving away the ending. I thought that you did an amazing job with choosing text evidence and quotes to support your ideas. I thought that in your first paragraph in your reflection, the quote you used really demonstrated why Katniss could have volunteered to compete in the games instead of her sister. I agree with everything you wrote. One thing that you could improve on is making sure your punctuation is correct. There was one part where I saw a missing period. That sounds so critical because I don’t see much that you can improve on. Thanks for sharing your Letter-Essay with me and the others to read this.

    Jason Viani

  5. Dear Paul,
    First off, I thought it was interesting that you included the fact that the author was born in Connecticut. I thought it was an interesting fact, and one that I did not know. I really enjoyed reading your letter-essay; it looks like you put a lot of time and effort into the final product. Good Job! I really liked hearing your thoughts, especially because this book is so commonly read. I read it for the first time in 6th grade, and it is one of my favorite series. I hope you enjoy the ending, and that hopefully you will read the rest of the series. Again, great job.

    Amber Borofsky

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