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In 2012, the blockbuster movie The Hunger Games came out, ushering in what many believe will be the next big trilogy of movies for young adults who have made Harry Potter and Twilight pop culture phenomena. Grossing about $250 million in its first 10 days, The Hunger Games was the highest grossing movie of 2012 within its first two weeks. 

Author Suzanne Collins already had an impressive résumé before starting on “The Hunger Games.” She’d been a writer for television shows such as “Clarissa Explains it All” on Nickelodeon, and she’d penned a successful middle grade series titled The Underworld Chronicles. But it is teen-aged Katniss Everdeen who has been her most enduring character.

Collins was struck with the idea for the series while, oddly enough, channel surfing between coverage of the war in Iraq and a reality show competition. According to a 2008 article in Publisher’s Weekly, Collins said “the lines began to blur in this very unsettling way.” She elaborated in an interview with Powell’s Books: “There’s the voyeuristic thrill—watching people being humiliated, or brought to tears, or suffering physically—which I find very disturbing. There’s also the potential for desensitizing the audience, so that when they see real tragedy playing out on, say, the news, it doesn’t have the impact it should.” This spark of an idea turned into the dystopic “Hunger Games,” where young people are pitted against each other in a reality show competition that takes the concept to its ultimate, brutal conclusion: death.

In the last three years, Collins’s trilogy has made her a bestselling author, but the movie and its sequels promise to bring even more fame to Collins and her books. In Everything You Need to Know About The Hunger Games Trilogy, each book in the trilogy is covered in detail, including the major plots, themes, and characters like Katniss ,Peeta, and Gale. It also includes an introduction explaining the background and inspiration behind Collins’s trilogy, as well as a detailed look at Panem, the nation where the trilogy takes place. 

Whether you’re a parent trying to keep up with what your kids are talking about or someone who wants to be able to participate in discussions about the trilogy and the movie, you can get caught up quick with this resourceful guide.

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