By Suzanne Collins

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Scholastic Press, 2010

Genres: Science fiction, adventure, dystopian, thriller

Series: The Hunger Games; 3

ISBN: 9780439023511

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 392

Setting: Panem – mainly District 13 & the Capitol, but also Districts 12, 8, and 2

Time period: Sometime in the future

Plot summary: Katniss must face the reality of her new situation.  She and her family are all alive and living underground in the rebel District 13.  Peeta has been captured by the Capitol.  The rebels of District 13 want Katniss to become the face of the revolution; they want her to become the “Mockingjay”, a role which has already been designed for her without her knowledge or acceptance.  The questions are: what does Katniss want?  And how will she go about getting it?

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Supersonic; like the first two books in the series, this story is extremely fast paced.

Characterization: The series continues to be told in first person through Katniss.  Some important new characters are introduced in this book, while many familiar characters reappear.  Katniss’s family continue to be important to the story, in addition to both Gale and Peeta.

Frame: The mockingjay provides the frame; the bird is the symbol for the rebellion.  Because of its wild nature, it cannot be controlled by the Capitol.  But can it be controlled by the rebels?

Story line: The final installment of an intense and riveting series which continues to explore issues related to friendship, love, trust, and survival.

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Contests — Fiction.

Insurgency — Fiction.

Interpersonal relations — Fiction.

Survival skills — Fiction.

Television programs — 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: Wow, wow, wow.  Tremendous ending to a fabulous series!  While parts of the ending made me very sad, I felt that it was true to the story, characters, and series.  One thing I did not notice while reading the series, but reflected upon afterwards – aside from some people who lived in the Capitol (and dyed their skin a variety of colors – green, pink, striped), I do not recollect any other people of color in this series.  When I mentioned this to two other people I know who had read the first two books, they thought that perhaps some of the Districts included people with darker skin colors.  I can’t remember this and I don’t have the books to refer to.  In any case, all of the major characters in my mind were very white and I wonder if this would take away from the appeal for some readers.

Other: Diversity – girl hunter, victims of torture, child soldiers, Avoxes (people who have committed crimes against the Capitol and can no longer talk), Muttations – genetic experiments involving humans and animals

Suzanne Collins’s website

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