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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I Wish I Could Check in With

Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, I’m looking at ten characters from fiction that I would like to check in with, see how they’re doing, how life’s treating them.

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Alexia and Connal from Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. I know I’ve got the adventures of their daughter, Prudence, waiting for me on my night table, and I hope I hear more about one of my favorite couples in fiction. These two are one of the sexiest steampunk paranormal couples in the history of ever. (And if I could find out how Ivy’s doing, I would be really, really happy, too.)

Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter series. What happened to my favorite witch when all was said and done? Did she retire, and is happily feline, laying in a sunbeam? I need to know these things.

Richard Mayhew from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. What’s he up to these days? And what’s Door doing?

Fern from Charlotte’s Web. I’d love to know what happened to Fern as she grew up. And come to think of it, how did the rest of Wilbur’s life go, with Charlotte keeping him off the dinner table?

Claudia and Jamie from e.l. konigburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Did these two get a complimentary membership to the Met? Did they stay in New York City when they grew up? Did they ever consider holing up in the Hayden Planetarium?

Oliver in I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President. This kid has got to be dictator of some small nation by now, right?

Ponyboy from The Outsiders. I think of Ponyboy like I do the narrator in Stand By Me, a writer, looking back on his youth. What happened to him after high school? Did Daryl make him stay in school? Did he go to college? What about Sodapop and Daryl? I hope they stayed close.

The girls from St. Etheldra’s, from Julie Berry’s Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. I hope we get more books with these girls, because I loved this one. But if we don’t, what does a group of Victorian schoolgirls do, once they’ve hidden two bodies and tried to carry on as if nothing ever happened?

Holden Caulfield, from Catcher in the Rye. Come on, aren’t you the slightest bit curious?

Gale from The Hunger Games. Please tell me he met a nice girl that wasn’t interested in a government-sponsored relationship and settled down. PLEASE.

 

Posted in Post-apocalyptic/Dystopian, Science Fiction, Tween Reads

Book Review: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, 2008)

Recommended for ages 12+
Welcome to Panem, the post-apocalyptic United States of America, divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Every year, two “tributes” between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected from each district to take part in a brutal contest called The Hunger Games, where they fight to the death. There is only one winner. Sixteen-year old Katniss volunteers to her district’s tribute after her 12-year old sister’s name is drawn.

The Hunger Games is the brutal version of a reality game show – think of Stephen King’s (written as Richard Bachman) novel, The Running Man and you’ll have a good frame of reference. The tributes are given mentors – former winners, condemned to preparing future tributes for the games – and stylists to make them look good. The contestants have to project personality in the week of interviews and preparation so that they have a chance at receiving help from sponsors, who can send food, medicine, and supplies to their contestants during the games. The games are televised for all the districts to watch. Katniss struggles to keep her humanity in the midst of the game and rails against being the Capitol’s pawn.

The book moves at a breathtaking pace with an intensity that starts mere pages in and doesn’t let up until the book’s end. The main characters have a good base for character development that will likely continue in the two following books in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay; the others are as developed as they need to be in order to further the story and keep the pace. Ms. Collins makes her point about valuing bloodsport over humanity as eloquently as she is brutal in several key scenes in the book. With a strong mix of violence and compassion, boys and girls have both seized on this series and catapulted it to the top of their reading lists. Katniss emerges as a heroine not only for her strength but her ability to retain her sense of self in the middle of the games. She is a complex, conflicted heroine who resonates with ‘tweens and teens alike.

The Hunger Games has won multiple awards and honors. It is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal besteller, and was one of Kirkus and School Library Journal‘s Best Books of 2008. It is an Americna Library Association (ALA) Notable Children’s Book and one of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Teens Top Ten for 2009. Lionsgate Studios will release a movie based on the book in March of 2012.

A comprehensive wiki exists for the series and the author’s website offers author and book information. There are many teacher’s resources for teaching the series available on the Web, including Scholastic’s and Hunger Games Lessons.