Too Young For the Hunger Games books?
Although the plot of the books is somewhat shocking, the author gives her subject matter a thoughtful and thought-provoking treatment that rises above the gruesome premise. The main character, Katniss, is a hero in the classic sense – a strong and smart survivor who makes interesting and even admirable moral choices within the immoral universe in which she finds herself.
If you have a nine- or ten-year-old child who is interested in reading this popular series by Suzanne Collins, my first suggestion is that you read the books yourself and see what you think. You might be surprised to find that the violence is not gratuitous, the romance is tame, and the heroine is filled with admirable qualities.
Next, talk to your child about the books. Some children ask to read books without knowing much of the plot. Children of this age are good judges of what they can handle. When hearing about the plot, some children will decide the books aren’t for them. Others will start reading the books, but if the subject matter is too upsetting, they will stop reading.
And if your child does read the books, talk about the thoughts the series inspires. My own ten-year-old daughter read them a couple of months ago, and since then she and I have had many interesting conversations about human rights, government power, oppression, economic disparity, personal integrity, loyalty, and the importance of family -- all spurred by her reading of these books.
If you are still leery of letting your child read the books, the good news is that there are plenty of other exciting books to consider for them. For example: the Warriors series by Erin Hunter, the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud, and the His Dark Materials series by Bill Pullman.