Catching Fire

By Suzanne Collins

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Scholastic Press, 2009

Genres: Science fiction, adventure, dystopian, thriller

Series: The Hunger Games; 2

ISBN: 9780439023498

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 391

Setting: Panem – mainly District 12 & the Capitol

Time period: Sometime in the future

Plot summary: When Katniss returns to District 12 after surviving the Capitol’s Hunger Games, all she wants is for her life to be as it was prior to the games.  Unfortunately, this can never be.  As victors, she and Peeta must live as such.  And while the Capitol’s audience was quite convinced by Katniss and Peeta’s undying love for one another throughout the games, President Snow was not.  He tells Katniss this personally just prior to her and Peeta’s Victory Tour through the districts.  He also mentions that some of the districts have had uprisings and threatens to harm Katniss’s family if she doesn’t comply with his wishes.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: While the first two-thirds of the book is quite swift, the last third of the story races.

Characterization: The series continues to be told in first person through Katniss.  Peeta continues to be the most important secondary character, but other significant new characters are introduced to the series in this book.

Frame: The title of this book sets the frame.  In The Hunger Games Katniss was known as the “girl on fire” due to the vision of her stylist, Cinna.  The manner in which Katniss won the games for herself and Peeta adds fuel to the flames of rebellion throughout the districts; Katniss’s “fire” has spread.

Story line: An intense, violent, and gripping story which continues to explore issues related to friendship, love, trust, survival, freedom, and justice.

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Insurgency — Fiction.

Survival — Fiction.

Television programs — Fiction.

Interpersonal relations — Fiction.

Contests — Fiction.

Science fiction.

Similar works:

An in-depth list from the Beaverton City Library, Beaverton, OR

Some more suggestions from The Mount Prospect Public Library

Additional suggestions from Wake County Public Libraries

And even more suggestions from the publisher – Scholastic


Personal notes: I am continuing to love this series!  The final twists at the ending took me by surprise and I am anxiously awaiting my hold on Mockingjay.  I totally disagree with the people who think that this series peaked with the first book.  There is less action in this story, but there is much more intrigue. And even though there is less action, there is still quite a bit.

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – girl hunter, victors of the games (most have been scarred by the games either physically, mentally, or spiritually), Avoxes (people who have committed crimes and can no longer talk), Muttations – genetic experiments involving humans and animals

Suzanne Collins’s website




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