Collins, S. (2009). Catching fire. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
LS5360: NY Times Bestseller For Children's List. Also borrowed this from my son's library and LOVED it. Was pleased that I could use it for class under the NY Times Bestseller category. Now, I must figure out how to read Mockingjay and be able to use it for class. I was going to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid for my third bestseller. Thoughts, anyone??
Exposition: The setting is the future, a post-apocolyptic North America, in the totalitarian-governed country of Panem. The story picks-up in District 12, normally scraping by an existence but temporarily being spoiled due to its Tributes winning the Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen, the strong and independent Heroine from the first novel, returns to tell the story again in first person point-of-view. Returning main characters of the story are Peeta Mellark and Haymitch Abernathy, and secondary characters Gale Hawthorne and Cinna. New to the story is character Finnick Odair.
Conflict: On the day Katniss and Peeta are to begin their victory tour, President Snow visits and threatens Katniss (and her family) because of her rebellion against the Capitol and the potential for uprisings in the Districts. Katniss must convince the country that it was an act of love, not an act of defiance that lead her to the near double-suicide in the Hunger Games. On the tour, it becomes painfully obvious that she can’t calm the people from rebellion. In the meantime, the Quarter Quell occurs, which occurs every 25th year of the game. In a twist, possibly manufactured by the Capitol, all Districts must send one male and female former Hunger Games victor to compete. Katniss’s and Haymitch’s name are drawn, but Peeta volunteers and is accepted as Haymitch’s substitute.
Rising Action: In a vicious déja-vu, Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch again head to the Capitol to prepare for another Hunger Games. Given that all the competitors are prior victors, they study videotapes to see their strengths and weaknesses. Katniss and Haymitch agree that Peeta is the one who needs protection and must survive the game. Again, immediately Tributes are killed and alliances are made, an uneasy one with Finnick Odair attaching himself to Katniss and Peeta. The field narrows and it becomes difficult to discern who is enemy and who is ally.
Climax: As the situation looks dire for Katniss, she remembers Haymitch’s reminder to always remember who is her enemy, and instead of killing other tributes, she takes aim at the flaw in the force field, hitting her mark and blowing-up the arena.
Falling Action: Katniss finds herself in a recovery room with one of the allied Tributes. She is confused and wanders around until she finds and overhears Haymitch and Finnick talking. She realizes that she has been a pawn in a very real rebellion against the Capitol, that Peeta has been captured by the Capitol, and in her anger and fear for her family’s lives, strikes out at Haymitch.
Resolution: Katniss is subdued, and Gale shows-up to calm her and tells her the good news – that he was able to save her family – and the bad news – that District 12 has been destroyed.
Literary Elements: Again, figurative language is used to enrich the text and images. For example, the metaphor in “Something is wrong with Peeta’s legs; he’s trying to walk but they move in a spastic, puppetlike fashion” (21.11) gives a much richer image of his walking than just saying he walked stiff-legged. Working hand-in-hand with the figurative language is the imagery. For example, “Immediately, her body is seized by wild contortions and she falls to the ground in a horrible dance” (21.19). The imagery of Mags’s seizure is crystal clear.