Language Matters: Why You Should Read “The Hunger Games”

Believe it or not, there are still people who think that some books are not worthy of a spot on library shelves.  ”The Hunger Games” is one of those books.

The American Library Association has released its list of the most challenged books of the last year, and “The Hunger Games” is included, along with its two sequels.

Why?  ”Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence.”

Some of the reasons are subjective — what exactly does “insensitivity” mean? — but others are true.  The book’s author, Suzanne Collins, acknowledges that the books are violent.  They’re meant to be; it’s part of the story.

Even if the book contains all of the objectionable themes listed, is that a reason to remove it from libraries?  Should controversial works be censored from the public eye to prevent people from coming into contact with dangerous ideas or disturbing images?

Appearing on a challenged books list is like a rite of passage for any book that dares to explore difficult or emotional themes like violence, loss of innocence, sexuality, or dystopian society.

Two classic works usually found on the most challenged list include Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

For myself, hearing that a book has been challenged makes me think that the book must have tackled some difficult issues, which makes me want to read it even more.  What do you think?

If you’ve already read “The Hunger Games,” be sure to check out our 100 Hunger Games Vocablets on VocabNetwork!

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