The Hunger Games [Book 1]

9780439023528_custom-49e9c33a338d97f0abb78402bcdee9b1103f33a0-s6-c10Bibliographic info

Collins, S. (2010). The hunger games. NY: Scholastic Press.

ISBN: 978-0439023528

Plot Description

Survival is everything to 16-year old Katniss Everdeen, who hails from the 12th district of Panem, the nation that rose from the ashes of post-apocolyptic North America. Each year the decadent and cruel Capitol hosts The Hunger Games, wherein one boy and one girl from each district between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to fight to the death in a televised arena event.

When her younger sister Primrose is selected as a tribute, Katniss sacrifices her life by volunteering in her place. Now she and Peeta, the son of the town’s baker and fellow tribute, will have to learn to survive against all odds. In the end, only one can win.

Quantitative Reading Level

ATOS Book Level: 5.3

Interest Level: Middle Grades Plus (MG+ 6 and up)

Lexile: 810L

Qualitative Reading Analysis

This is a highly popular series with current movies in theatres, making it a favorite amongst middle and high schoolers. It’s structural complexity is low, maintaining a single narrator and a chronological storyline. There are levels of meaning and the concepts are pretty complex (dystopian world, death of children), making it inappropriate for ages under upper middle and high school.

Content Area

  • English/Language Arts

Content Area Standard

Objective 1.2.1: The student will determine the contributions of literary elements in classical and contemporary literary texts. ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H
Grades 9 and 10
The student will
 Determine the significance of the following as each contributes to the meaning of a text: 
o plot sequence of events (including foreshadowing and flashback), cause-and-effect relationships, and events 
that are exposition, climax or turning point, resolution* ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H4
o characters’ defining traits, motivations, and developments throughout the text* ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H4
o details that provide clues to the setting, the mood created by the setting, and the role the setting plays in the text* ECLG 1.2.1
o conflicts that motivate characters and those that serve to advance the plot* ECLG 1.2.1
o the perspective of the author or speaker as well as the effects of first or third person narration and multiple narrators within and across text(s)* ECLG 1.2.1
o narration, dialogue, dramatic monologue, asides, soliloquies, and character foils ADP H4 o various literary devices, including figurative language, imagery, allegory, and symbolism
 Identify the specific structural elements of particular literary forms (e.g., short story, novel, drama, poetry, essay, biography, autobiography, journalistic writing, film) ECLG 1.1.5, ADP H3 
Grades 11 and 12
The student will
 Analyze characters’ motivations, actions, and development as they relate to the experiences, emotions, moral dilemmas and ambiguities in a work of literature ADP H8 
 Analyze how voice, persona, and the choice of narrator affect the characterization, mood, tone, plot and credibility of a text 
 Analyze the contribution of dramatic monologue, chorus, asides, soliloquies, and character foils to the development of character, plot, and theme ADP H6 

 Analyze the characteristics of particular literary subgenres (e.g., satire, farce, parody, allegory, pastoral, epic, elegy, ode) as they relate to theme and purpose ADP H3

Curriculum Suggestions

Hunger Games can be looked at as an example of dystopian literature, and in particular the characterizations of heroes and villains, as well as the symbolism in the novel.

Links to Digital Content



  • #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • #1 USA Today Bestseller
  • Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2008: Children’s Fiction
  • New York Times Notable Children’s Book Of 2008
  • An American Library Association
  • Top Ten Best Books For Young Adults Selection
  • An ALA Notable Children’s Book
  • 2009 ALA Amelia Bloomer Project List
  • #1 On Winter ’08/​’09 Children’s Indie Next List
  • Indies Choice–Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book Honor
  • 2008 Cybil Award–Fantasy & Science Fiction
  • 2009 Children’s Choice Book Award
  • Teen Choice Book Of The Year Finalist
  • YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten, 2009
  • NYPL “Stuff For The Teen Age” List, 2009
  • CCBC Choices 2009
  • A New York Times Editors’ Choice
  • A Kirkus Best Book Of 2008
  • A Horn Book Fanfare
  • School Library Journal Best Books Of 2008
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice, 2008
  • LA Times Favorite Children’s Books, 2008
  • Barnes & Noble Best Books Of 2008: For Teens and Kids
  • Borders Best Books Of 2008: Teens
  • Amazon Best Books Of 2008: Top 100 Editors’ Pick; Top 10 Books: Teens


Politics, Dystopias, Violence, Survival

Field Trip Mysteries: The Mount Rushmore Face That Couldn’t See

Field Trip Mysteries: The Mount Rushmore Face That Couldn’t See


by Steve Brezenoff, ill. Marcos Calo

Brezenoff, S. 2013. The Mount Rushmore face that couldn’t see. Minnesota: Capstone.


Catalina Duran is going with the History Club on a field trip to Mount Rushmore, but there is more than meets the eye at this historical landmark. When the group arrives, they notice a group of protesters in the parking lot, protesting that the land belongs to the Lakota tribe. A series of strange events begin to unfold during their trip: the ranger is tied up, old machinery runs by itself, and it’s seeming more and more like the place is haunted by ghosts, either the ghosts of presidents or of the Lakota. Catalina is on the case figuring out what it is haunting Mount Rushmore.
Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: 490L

ATOS Book Level: 3.4

Interest Level:   Middle Grades (MG 4-8)

Qualitative Summary:

This book has moderate illustrations, but each page has a few small paragraphs of text. Each chapter has a few pages that feature block quotes of sentences significant to the plot. There is a glossary in the back of the book that helps students with some of the bigger vocabulary words in the book. The structure and chronology is straight forward, and the language is on par with a middle school level. The narrative structure is somewhat like a Scooby Doo mystery, complete with a red herring and a reveal at the end.

Curriculum Tie Ins:

Discussions of the mystery genre and the types of characters in mysteries: the detective, the red herring, the culprit.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

1. Develop and apply comprehension skills by reading and analyzing a variety of self-selected and assigned literary texts including print and non-print

2. Analyze text features to facilitate understanding of literary texts

3. Analyze elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding and interpretation

Author’s website:

Personal Thoughts: The illustrations in the beginning and end of this book really drew me in and reminded me of books I loved at this age, ones that really gave off a “solving a mystery” aura with newspaper clippings and images of notepads.

My First Ramadan

My First Ramadan
Karen Katz
Katz, K. 2007. My first Ramadan. NY: Henry Holt and Company.

A young boy participates in his first Ramadan, the holiday for Muslims around the world. Because he is old enough, this is the first year the young boy will fast. He describes in simple detail all the things that he encounters on his first Ramadan, from the morning meal (suhoor), the morning prayer (fajr), the school activities during the day, the sweet date eaten when they are ending their fasting, the evening meal (iftar) and prayer (Maghrib). He also attends the Mosque, and the big celebration in town square for the end of Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr).
Quantitative Summary:
ATOS Book Level: 2.8
Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)
Lexile: AD700L

Qualitative Summary:
This is a small book with big print, and the illustrations are mixed-media collages by the author. This book discusses the basics of Ramadan, making it relatable to small children by giving them a young narrator who illustrates how he participates in his family’s observance of the holiday. The book’s complexity is overall pretty low; the meaning is simple, the language is straight-forward (and the native words for the different elements of the religion are spelled out phonetically in parentheticals to help further comprehension), the knowledge demands require the student to understand religions, which may be a Middle Low concept.

Curriculum Tie Ins:
This book would really help to illustrate religions of the world, and holidays of the world.



Social Studies

2.0 CONTENT STANDARD: PEOPLES OF THE NATIONS AND WORLD –Student will understand the diversity and commonality, human interdependence, and global cooperation of the people of Maryland, the United States, and the World through a multicultural and
a historic perspective.
(PreK-3 STANDARD) PEOPLES OF THE NATIONS AND WORLD -Students will understand how people in Maryland, the United States and around the world are alike and different.

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).


1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Author’s website: