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View Poll Results: Is The Hunger Games Series appropriate for an 11 year old?
Yes- Absolutely! 13 32.50%
No way, Jose! 8 20.00%
It depends/Other 19 47.50%
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  #1  
Old 03-22-2012, 12:29 AM
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Default Hunger Games Question

I have a super huge question for you guys.

I've seen so much interest in the Hunger Games, and a lot of teens and pre-teens reading it, but I was wondering...

Is the book series something that would be appropriate for an 11 year old? Particularly one that hasn't seen anything over PG movies, has never played anything over an E videogame (except for a few Tony Hawk games) and generally just isn't exposed to much violence yet? Or do you think it would be too much for him?

We're looking at books that we can read aloud (Jeffrey does free reading as part of his homeschooling requirements, but we also take time each day to read from a book aloud together) so we would probably be reading it/discussing it as a family- it wouldn't be "here, Jeffrey- go read this on your own" or anything.

I'm just wondering if it would be appropriate. It sounds kind of violent, but I've also seen reviews that say it's TOTALLY appropriate for his age group, so I'm totally confused!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:31 AM
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Personally I let my kids watch whatever we are, so I'm okay with letting my almost 7 year old read them. But we read them together.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:51 AM
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hmmm I do think it is somewhat violent, BUT it does not get graphic and does not focus on the violence. It also has a love story, but only goes as far as innocent kissing.I think it would be totally appropriate depending on the child (lol, that's probably not helpful). Personally I would read it first and decide what's right for your family or read it together and then he can ask questions etc.

I really liked the book and can't wait to see it!
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:31 AM
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I think it depends on the 11-year old. If he were asking to read it, I'd say go ahead and let him. But when an adult is choosing the book, it's harder to say if it's a good fit for the child. I'd read it first and then decide. It won't take you too long, but you should probably make sure you have easy access to Catching Fire right afterward, LOL.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:21 AM
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I haven't read them but Cheyanne is 11 and has read them. She really liked them and she censors herself more than I would!
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:58 AM
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We found that it's not appropriate for OUR oldest (12). We're going to have him wait another year or so before we do it. For us, it's the idea of children killing children - some his age, and he has a tender heart. We just feel it's not right for him now.

I'd read them first so that you can decide. There is violence, but other than one short sentence in the beginning of the actual games, I don't find it violence that is gorey or detailed or an issue until the very end. The 'idea' is violent - a 'game' put on by a far away government as punishment for past crimes where children must battle other children in a Roman-esque survival tournament to the death. But she pulls it off pretty well with not giving in to the graphic/grossness that other writers might have.

If you'd like to try another book series of hers that's totally appropriate (more on children in war, but more for the younger end of this age set, try her Gregor the Overlander (the Underland Chronicles). It's about a boy in NY who is pulled into an underground world where animals and creatures and 'humans' live together. My 12 yo loved these books.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:46 AM
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I read it first and deemed it appropriate for my at that time almost 11 year old. Now, a year later, my almost 12 year old will be watching the movie with me
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:58 AM
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my nephew read them at ten and really liked them ... he is a voracious reader, and grew up watching/reading any and everything about dinosaurs, so animal violence doesn't bother him, but he still doesn't really like too much violence related to humans, or anything too sappy. for reference, he also loved the percy jackson books and the warriors books (these are his favorite, i think). it all depends on the kid though !
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
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my nephew read them at ten and really liked them ... he is a voracious reader, and grew up watching/reading any and everything about dinosaurs, so animal violence doesn't bother him, but he still doesn't really like too much violence related to humans, or anything too sappy. for reference, he also loved the percy jackson books and the warriors books (these are his favorite, i think). it all depends on the kid though !
Exactly. Nathan had read the Percy Jackson series and the Eragon series as well.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:35 AM
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the 4th and 5th graders at our grade school are reading them right now.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:45 AM
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Both of my boys LOOOOOVE Percy Jackson, too. So glad that those are read alouds with Dad because I *dislike* mythology LOL
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darcy Baldwin View Post
We found that it's not appropriate for OUR oldest (12). We're going to have him wait another year or so before we do it. For us, it's the idea of children killing children - some his age, and he has a tender heart. We just feel it's not right for him now.
Ditto Darcy....I just now let my 14 year old read them but I will not however be letting her watch the movies and none of my other kids will read them till they are at least 13 to 14. But that's us and what's right for our family.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:32 AM
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I'd definitely read them yourself first and make an informed decision. I've always said books are so dependent on the maturity level of the child. From how you've described your brother, sounds like he may need to wait. But I agree with the others, the books don't FOCUS gore, though the fact that these children have to DIE definitely runs prominently through the book.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:54 AM
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I ditto the other ladies I would read them and then make an decision based on how your child is. I could see how an 11 y/o wouldn't like the books (the violence - kids basically killing kids). My oldest is 4 right now but if he was 11 I wouldn't let him read them. He doesn't like to see people get hurt on tv and I think that him reading it and "seeing" it in his head would be worse for him.

I do know that my aunt let my 12 year old cousin read the books and he loved them. He thinks they are the best books ever.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:01 AM
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I don't think my oldest (9.5) even has a clue about the series or movies. I do think that I would wait a little while before I let him read them. He hasn't even read the Harry Potter series yet. We are going to start that this summer.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:15 AM
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Read them first, for sure. I think this is one that would totally depend on the child. My baby sister has read the first five Harry Potter books, but we won't let her read the last two because of the death in them. She's 9.5 now. I would say Hunger Games are at just about that same level.

My mother-in-law (who has never read them) was just saying the other day how she doesn't think she could handle the goryness of the movie. I was like- "what have you heard woman?" She's a total quack though. lol.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:45 AM
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I'm always on the side of waiting, not pushing my boys into anything too much for them. Of course, I also don't let them automatically watch PG-13 movies when they turn 13 - I always check them out first. And before they are 13? No way. I also didn't let my oldest boys see Rated movies before they were 17, even though ALL their friends were allowed to see them. And they have always had the earilest curfew of their friends. So yeah, I'm a mean mom, so take my opinion for what it's worth.

My 2 13 year olds have not yet read them, but I would let them. One has read the Percy Jackson books, the other one has never been much interested in stuff like that.

I agree with everyone else - read it first, then decide.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:24 AM
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I said yes but really it depends. Here it's a required reading in grade 6 so a 11/12 year old would read it. The boy I babysit after school is reading it right now, although he's in Kristen's class (9 years old) and I'm not letting her read it yet.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:39 AM
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Jennifer, a (very) small part of the reason we opted to homeschool was because there were many required reading books that just don't line up with our beliefs or our ideas about age-appropriateness. We don't at all believe in banning books or deciding that books are off-limits, but we do try to stick to saying "You can't read this until you're a certain age." The school system here isn't always lining up with that- so I am, in some ways, surprised it's required reading. It's interesting to see how required reading at various ages has changed- in my 6th grade class, we read books like Bridge to Terabithia and The Secret Garden, which to me, seem on a different plane than this entirely.

Thanks, everyone, for the opinions. I think it's going to come down to me reading the books and just seeing what we feel is best. It's hard to tell with books like this!
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:51 AM
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My almost 10 year old daughter has been asking to see the movie after seeing previews of it. I told her that I would consider taking her to the movie but only after she had read the book. I have it on Kindle, so she is reading it now and has barely gotten into it but she has already had some questions for me about it. I like the fact that I've already read it and am available to help her understand parts that she may not quite grasp. I'd definitely suggest reading it yourself first so that you're prepared for the questions it may bring up.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:42 PM
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I'm glad you asked this question, Jen, because it's something I've been debating myself. My 10 yo DD has been asking to read the books (They are in the school library) for a while now. At first, I was against it because of the violence, but she has read and loved all the Harry Potter books and the Percy Jackson ones, and those have some mild violence as well. From what she tells me, pretty much all of her friends are reading/have read the series, so I'm guessing she is mostly wanting to read it because everyone else is.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:58 PM
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I think it depends on your child. My oldest (boy) could handle it at 11, but my middle kid (girl) would have had a hard time. My youngest is 15 and she read them and loved them.

So like Darcy suggested, I think you should read it first and then make a decision about whether or not you will let your kid read it.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:05 PM
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I see I'm in the minority, but nah. I mean, after I read it I was like "omg how can this be pre-teen? it's so gory!" But then I'm easily gored out. I can't even watch Walking Dead *shudder*
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:11 PM
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I see I'm in the minority, but nah. I mean, after I read it I was like "omg how can this be pre-teen? it's so gory!" But then I'm easily gored out. I can't even watch Walking Dead *shudder*
I'm with you - I read the first book and couldn't face reading any more
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:49 PM
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My 8-yr. old is an excellent reader (tested @ 6th grade level). He's read all the Chronicles of Narnia books by himself and tested on them for Accelerated Reader at his school.

He knows I LOVED The Hunger Games and asked me today if he could read it (1st one). I told him "no" and explained that I think he needs to wait a couple more years. I don't know though. Part of me wants him to enjoy this with me, but the other part thinks it's too mature for an 8-yr. old boy.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:01 PM
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I see I'm in the minority, but nah. I mean, after I read it I was like "omg how can this be pre-teen? it's so gory!" But then I'm easily gored out. I can't even watch Walking Dead *shudder*
Thank you (and Seatrout) for expressing this. I have heard enough to know that -- for me -- I will not be reading them. And I was a little surprised when a family member suggested that my nephew read them.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:07 PM
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My (mature) 11 DD has read the first one. She enjoyed it but was actually found it a little boring because it was all action and not enough romance. She scares me, that girl.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:11 PM
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My (mature) 11 DD has read the first one. She enjoyed it but was actually found it a little boring because it was all action and not enough romance. She scares me, that girl.
Oh no.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:33 PM
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I'd let my 10 year old daughter read them if she wanted to, but she hasn't thus far. I would also take her to the movie, but she hasn't shown interest. For me, it is more to do with the child's interest and maturity level - if the child really wants to read it, you could let him try it and see if he likes it. Like others have said though, I'd read it first. I preead almost all books my kids read unless they are really young children's books.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kresta View Post
My 8-yr. old is an excellent reader (tested @ 6th grade level). He's read all the Chronicles of Narnia books by himself and tested on them for Accelerated Reader at his school.

He knows I LOVED The Hunger Games and asked me today if he could read it (1st one). I told him "no" and explained that I think he needs to wait a couple more years. I don't know though. Part of me wants him to enjoy this with me, but the other part thinks it's too mature for an 8-yr. old boy.
I was that kind of reader, too, and I remember 8 and 9 being hard times to find books for myself. But speaking as someone who was reading books about World War 2 concentration camps by age 10, I think The Hunger Games at 8 would have been a little too much for me. I don't think I would have been scared or traumatized, but there was a lot I wouldn't have gotten. My 8-year old is a totally different child--I don't think he'll be ready at 11, never mind earlier.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshobbes View Post
I see I'm in the minority, but nah. I mean, after I read it I was like "omg how can this be pre-teen? it's so gory!" But then I'm easily gored out. I can't even watch Walking Dead *shudder*
I'm with you! I don't even think I'm going to watch the movie. I read all the books and loved them (well... not the third one much)... but the idea is just, too much. I actually didn't read them for awhile after a friend recommended them because it just sounded awful... then I did and enjoyed them... but now I feel the same about the movie. But, I actually don't watch many pg-13 anyway.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:31 PM
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The whole idea of the books kind of revolts me. The idea of children being forced to kill children for sport makes me want to vomit. I don't know that I *could* read the books just knowing that much. The movie trailers turn me off completely.

Thankfully, my 9 year old has expressed no interest in watching the movie or reading the books. They aren't even on her radar. To hear that they are required reading for some 4th and 5th graders really disturbs me. I'm glad they aren't on the curriculum in our schools because I would be having a strong conversation with the principal if they were. I know the 4th and 5th grade principal pretty well though and he wouldn't let his own 5th grader read them so he sure wouldn't approve them as required reading. *whew*

Anyway, my daughter reads well beyond her grade level. She's been off the charts for quite a while now with all of their testing. She still is though, a 9 year old little girl. She is mature for her age but she's still a kid. Like Darcy, I think, mentioned with her son, my daughter is also very tender hearted and I don't think that the books would be something I want her to have to process at this point in her life. She has enough to think about. Now, she has read all 7 of the Harry Potter books and loved them. I couldn't get past the 3rd book. When I got to the part where they were growing plants that they cut up for spells and the plants were described almost like babies I gave up on the books and have refused to watch the movies. It completely turned me off. I can't even remember what those plants were called or why exactly I got the picture in my head of them cutting up babies but I did and it was too much for me.

Flergs was mentioning on facebook that there are two different versions of the book. Has anyone had any experience with that? Maybe one version is more appropriate for kids?
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:45 PM
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I'm with you - I read the first book and couldn't face reading any more
Just wanted to say that while I don't really approve of 9-11 year olds reading the books, I did read them and enjoyed them a lot (and the movie was amazing!) But yeah, I find them way too gory for pre-teens.

Ultimately, of course, i'm sure it's also a matter of a kid's maturity level.
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