“The Hunger Games” reach library

Madison Public Library will host “The Hunger Games Party” on March 20 in anticipation of the movie release based on the book trilogy.

“Not only is the trilogy (‘The Hunger Games,’ ‘Catching Fire,’ ‘Mockingjay’) enormously popular for teens, but it’s also an amazing crossover phenomenon,” youth services librarian Maggie Allen said.

Area schools have used the books for required summer reading. Allen compared the books’ popularity to the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” series.

“The teens are so excited about the movies coming out that having a party gives them a great place to meet each other, share their excitement and inevitably compare the books to the new movie,” Allen said.

Like others, Allen and youth services librarian Mandy Pinyan enjoyed “The Hunger Games.” “It’s enormous fun for us to be a part of the excitement,” Allen said. Participants will enjoy snacks, a scavenger hunt and prizes.

The library wants “to bring together fans and celebrate something that we all love together,” Allen said. “Books can have such an amazing impact on kids and teens. We feel it’s important to embrace and celebrate that.”

Allen describes the series as “dystopian fiction,” or a future, repressive society. “‘The Hunger Games’ was really the book that sparked the new craze in young adult fiction.”

Allen’s favorite component is the character of Katniss. “She’s an amazing character — so complex, strong and surprising.” Archery games will honor Katniss, and camouflage games will celebrate Peeta.

The books are set in the future United States, which has 12 districts. The super elite and controlling Capitol creates The Hunger Games, annually pitting teenagers from each District by lottery to compete. The teenagers must battle and scheme to the death. The winner takes lifetime fame.

“Or do they?” Allen said.

“The Hunger Games” opens in theaters on March 23.

The party will last from 6 to 8 p.m. For information, call Pinyan at 256-461-0046, send email to mpinyan@hmcpl.org or visit hmcpl.org or Facebook.com/MPLYouthServices.

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