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Reviews of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy

hunger games

The Hunger Games [Hunger Games] by Suzanne Collins Middle School, High School     Scholastic      374 pp. 10/08     978-0-439-02348-1      $17.99 Survivor meets “The Lottery” as the author of the popular Underland Chronicles returns with what promises to be an even better series. The United States is no more, and the new Capitol, high in the Rocky […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 movie review

mockingjay part 1 poster

The team behind The Hunger Games film adaptations gets it. With plenty of explosions and covert operations to draw from in Suzanne Collins’s source material, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (Lionsgate Films, November 2014; PG-13) could have been just an action movie. Instead, the filmmakers’ decision to split the book into two movies allows […]

Happy birthday, Harry!

harry birthday cake

Happy birthday to one of kidlit’s most beloved and backlashed big-name characters, Harry Potter! (He’d be thirty-four this year. Holy hippogriff.) The Horn Book has had a lot to say — good, bad, and damn, these books are long — about The Boy Who Lived over the years. Here’s a roundup of reviews, articles, and […]

Harry Potter read-alikes

duane_so you want to be a wizard

These titles — all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine — offer a mix of magic, adventure, humor, and suspense that will enchant Harry Potter fans. So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane [Young Wizards series] (Delacorte, 1983; reissued by Harcourt, 2003) A splendid, unusual fantasy tells of the efforts of two […]

Reviews of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series

Harry_Potter_and_the_Sorcerer's_Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling; illus. by Mary Grandpré Levine/Scholastic Reviewed 1/99 Orphaned Harry Potter has been living a dog’s life with his horrible relatives. He sleeps in the broom cupboard under the stairs and is treated as a slave by his aunt and uncle. On his eleventh birthday, mysterious […]

Brave new worlds

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

In her article “What Makes a Good YA Dystopian Novel?” from the May/June Horn Book Magazine, April Spisak offers thirteen recommendations for young adult dystopian books and series. We’ve also suggested some recently published Hunger Games trilogy readalikes for both YA and younger audiences here on Out of the Box. But since it’s always good […]

What Hath Harry Wrought?

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Just to get a sense of historical perspective, when I last spoke at this festival, there was no euro, no iPods, no Wikipedia, no Facebook; Pluto was still a planet; and I was still drinking. More to the point — today’s point — is that Harry Potter had yet to appear on our side of […]

The Hunger Games movie review

hunger games movie poster

Excitement was rampant at a March 23rd midnight showing of The Hunger Games (Lionsgate Films), director Gary Ross’s highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s bestselling dystopian novel. Before 11:30pm the theater was already packed, and our mostly undergrad-aged audience was impatiently waiting to see Katniss, the Capitol, and the Games brought to the big screen. […]

Excerpt from The Chocolate Games

The Chocolate Games

“Hi, Mum! Hi, Pop!” Mike squeaks as he hops from the screen onto the table. “Look at me! I’m the first boy sent by television!” Mrs. Teavee shrieks. “You’re an inch tall! Oh, my sweet boy!” “Sweet?” Grandpa Joe whispers to me. “He blew Violet to bits!” True, Mike did chuck his flinty Everlasting Gobstopper […]

Hunger Games lite

city of ember

We’ve heard from a few people looking for books for younger readers who are interested in, but not quite ready for, The Hunger Games trilogy. Here are some sci-fi and dystopian fiction suggestions for the pre-teen set (ages 9–11), all recommended by the Magazine. In Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember, the titular metropolis has […]