Friday, March 23, 2012

What Can "The Hunger Games" Teach your Teen about Money?

Last year I did a book review of "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and shared my thoughts about the money thoughts that are embedded in this thrilling story.  Now that the movie is taking the box office by storm, I thought I would share the book review again.  There are some basic money lessons within the story, such as determining your basic needs and utilizing your skills to create an income.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The United States does not exist in this fantasy novel. All North American governments have collapsed and have been replaced by the nation of Panem, consisting of a Capitol and 12 districts. Every year each district is required to send two teens, one boy and one girl, to the Capitol to fight to the death in the Hunger Games. The winner and their district get rewarded with money and food. Katniss Evergreen, a 16 year old girl who supports her mother and younger sister buy hunting and trading, volunteers to go to the Hunger Games to prevent her younger sister from being chosen. The story of the Hunger Games unfolds with Katniss using all of her survival skills in this futuristic gladiator game.

Age Range: 14 and older

My thoughts:
This story is captivating and exciting from Chapter One. I had a hard time putting the book down. Although the book is tastefully written and is not gruesome, the story does deal with death and fighting. Parents will need to be the judge of whether or not their child is ready for these concepts.

The money concepts in this book are rather deep ones. Katniss supports her family by hunting and gathering every day and trading these items for money or food. In this story, money is purely for a means for survival. For example, on her best hunting day ever, Katniss used the money from the sell of the meat to buy a baby goat for her younger sister.

Discussion Topics:
  • What are your basic necessities?
  • What skills or knowledge do you have that could be used to create an income?
  • How does money effect the outcome of the Hunger Games? Is it fair?

Favorite Passage from the Book:

This is the moment when Katniss realizes that her knowledge of edible plants will help her family survive:
"I dropped my gaze, embarrassed, and that’s when I saw it. The first dandelion of the year. A bell went off in my head. I thought of the hours spent in the woods with my father and I knew how we were going to survive."

Have you seen the movie or read the book?  What are your thoughts? 


  1. I haven't read the books yet, but want to. Might even see the movie. Interesting idea to use a popular movie to teach about money.

  2. Interesting... I'll have to read the book.

  3. The book is brilliant! I am looking forward to going to see the movie though, it'll be interesting to see how accurate my imagination was while reading the book. Plus how much it possibly differs from the book.

  4. Sounds really interesting, definitely my type of read. Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. I love it!!!!!!!!!! read all the books and saw the movie!!!!

  6. Book is also about the divides in society and human nature. As the divides increase, we are moving more towards a hunger game true life scenario maybe.

  7. I had read the other reviews on this book as well and I loved it totally.I always like such games a lot even in the form of a video game.