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Lights, Camera, Fight to the Death

By Jinx. Posted in Jinx | No Comments »

Do you watch reality TV? I have to admit. I kind of love it. There are so many great reality shows that just make me happy (check out this Television Without Pity list of the best reality shows of the decade). There is nothing better than watching a fight on The Hills, or watching some of the amazing (and horrible designs) on Project Runway. It’s awesome to cheer for your favorite dancer or singer on So You Think You Can Dance or American Idol.

For awhile I was kind of obsessed with Survivor. My family and I even had a little contest. We all picked a name of one of the contestants and we rooted for our person to be the last one on the island. No one wants to go to tribal council

Reality TV is fun because you get to watch other people do really insane stuff like the obstacle courses on one of my favorite Japanese reality shows, Ninja Warrior:

I admit to enjoy some pretty crappy TV on a regular basis, but Suzanne Collins takes television, and the world in general, to a whole new level in her book, The Hunger Games.

Now, imagine its many years in the future. A series of natural disasters have made the United Stated Pretty unrecognizable. In fact, the new nation is called Panem and it is divided into 13 districts. Now imagine that at some point in the past there was a huge uprising where the people of the districts rose up against the Capital. The 13th district was completely wiped out and the other districts were forced to do everything the Capital desired. To punish the people of the 12 districts, the Capital has created an annual torture they call the Hunger Games. In each Hunger Games two children, one boy and one girl, are chosen from each district. The kids are then sent to a secret stadium where they are pitted against one another in a fight to the death. Twenty-Four kids go into the stadium, only one comes out. And the entire thing is broadcast on national television. And the nightly recaps are required watching for all of the people of Panem.

So, Katniss is a teenager in District 12. Her family survives because Katniss and her friend Gale illegally hunt in the woods surrounding their district. This year is the first year her 12 year-old sister is eligible to be in the Hunger Games. When her sister Rose’s name is called, Katniss immediately volunteers to take her place, even though this means she is being sent to her certain death. Katniss and the other “tribute,” Peeta, from District 12 head to the Capital to be pampered and preened for their audience before the Games begin.

This book is amazing. It’s exciting. It makes you think. You root for Katniss while wondering how she, or any of the other tributes, can make it out alive.

If you’ve read the book, feel free to answer any of the questions below (these questions were taken from Scholastic. You can read a little more about the book, along with these questions here.), or just post your thoughts. If you haven’t read the Hunger Games yet, (and you really need to- because it is just that amazing) what do you think about the plot? Can you imagine being forced to fight other teenagers to the death?


Discussion Questions

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Sister, Sister

By Alaska. Posted in Alaska | No Comments »

I have a lot of sisters, five to be exact. I also have a neighbor we consider to be a sister taking my total to six. I’m very close with all my sisters but we’ve definitely had our fights. Some of these fights left lasting wounds, ask to look at my pinky sometime, thanks a lot Mandy. My three oldest sisters were always called “the girls” while I was growing up. There was a boy born between us, so it was always “I’m taking ‘the girls’ and Amber shopping” which led me to say “and what am I?” Looking back now, that was probably a good thing, I had my own identity. I didn’t think so at the time though, but as my dad says I’ll have to tell it to Oprah someday. I think all sisters struggle with the same kinds of issues.

Lauren Myracle’s new book, Peace, Love & Baby Ducks is a book about sisters. Carly and Anna are very different people. Carly is a bit of a granola girl if you will. She spent her whole summer volunteering at an outdoor nature place doing manual labor. While she was away, Anna has grown up. She has a new figure and people are noticing, especially boys. I thought this was so funny because one of my sisters moved to Puerto Rico last year, and she was home for a different sister’s graduation party (confused yet?), and looking good. She’s gotten very tan, lost some weight, etc… Well, throughout the party family friends came up to all of us telling us all how good she looked. It was getting a tad bit annoying. By the end of the party, I was like, “I know! She’s pretty and tan, and nice to boot!” Yes, I’m jealous. Anyways, Carly doesn’t say she’s jealous, but we all know she is. Carly prides herself on being a little different and Anna is starting to get noticed by a different circle than Carly’s.

In addition to the sisterly love in this book, it’s also filled with friendship, unrequited love, gym coach terror, crazy neighbor boys and of course, peace, love and baby ducks. The book is divided into three sections, and by now you can probably guess what they’re titled. Onto the discussion questions:

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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