PART I "THE TRIBUTES" When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim's warmth. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Starred Review. Reviewed by Megan Whalen Turner If there really are only seven original plots in the world, it's odd. The Hunger Games has 28 entries in the series. Hunger Games (Series). Suzanne Collins Author (). cover image of Suzanne Collins' the Hunger Games.
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This is a short e-book summary of the best selling novel "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. Life is busy. Many people don't have time to. When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fin- gers stretch out, seeking Prim's warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. PART I “THE TRIBUTES”2|Page The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins.
If you lift afinger, we will destroy every last one of you. My mother taught Prim and I to eat properly, soyes, I can handle a fork and knife. At first one,then another, then almost every member of the crowdtouches the three middle fingers of their left hand totheir lips and holds it out to me. Many contestants werebitten by venomous snakes or went insane fromthirst. Bryant Goodreads Author. Dragoi Maria , Student at Liceul teoretic Radu valdescu.
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They are. They ran an apothecaryshop in the nicer part of District Since almost noone can afford doctors, apothecaries are our healers. My father got to know my mother because on hishunts he would sometimes collect medicinal herbsand sell them to her shop to be brewed into remedies. She must have really loved him to leave her home forthe Seam.
I try to remember that when all I can see isthe woman who sat by, blank and unreachable, whileher children turned to skin and bones. Gale spreads the bread slices with the soft goatcheese, carefully placing a basil leaf on each while Istrip the bushes of their berries. We settle back in anook in the rocks. From this place, we are invisiblebut have a clear view of the valley, which is teemingwith summer life, greens to gather, roots to dig, fishiridescent in the sunlight.
The day is glorious, with ablue sky and soft breeze. Run off. Live in the woods. The idea is sopreposterous. But they might as wellbe. Andyou may as well throw in our mothers, too, becausehow would they live without us?
Who would fill thosemouths that are always asking for more? With both ofus hunting daily, there are still nights when game hasto be swapped for lard or shoelaces or wool, stillnights when we go to bed with our stomachsgrowling.
The conversation feels all wrong. And Gale is devoted to his family. And evenif we did When wemet, I was a skinny twelve-year-old, and although hewas only two years older, he already looked like aman. It took a long time for us to even becomefriends, to stop haggling over every trade and beginhelping each other out. You can tell by the way the girls whisper about himwhen he walks by in school that they want him.
Good hunting partners are hard to find. We can hunt, fish,or gather. We can leave our poles andgather in the woods. After the reaping, everyone is supposed tocelebrate. And a lot of people do, out of relief thattheir children have been spared for another year. Butat least two families will pull their shutters, lock theirdoors, and try to figure out how they will survive thepainful weeks to come. We make out well.
The predators ignore us on a daywhen easier, tastier prey abounds. By late morning,we have a dozen fish, a bag of greens and, best of all,a gallon of strawberries. I found the patch a few yearsago, but Gale had the idea to string mesh nets aroundit to keep out the animals. On the way home, we swing by the Hob, the blackmarket that operates in an abandoned warehousethat once held coal. When they came up with a moreefficient system that transported the coal directlyfrom the mines to the trains, the Hob gradually tookover the space.
We easily trade six of the fish for good bread,the other two for salt.
Greasy Sae, the bony oldwoman who sells bowls of hot soup from a largekettle, takes half the greens off our hands inexchange for a couple of chunks of paraffin. We mightdo a tad better elsewhere, but we make an effort tokeep on good terms with Greasy Sae. No one in the Seam would turnup their nose at a good leg of wild dog, but thePeacekeepers who come to the Hob can afford to be alittle choosier.
She just keeps toherself. Like me. Since neither of us really has agroup of friends, we seem to end up together a lot atschool. Eating lunch, sitting next to each other atassemblies, partnering for sports activities. We rarelytalk, which suits us both just fine.
Today her drab school outfit has been replaced by anexpensive white dress, and her blonde hair is done upwith a pink ribbon. Reaping clothes. Itisapretty dress, but she would never be wearing itordinarily.
She presses her lips together and thensmiles. Does she meanit? Or is she messing with him? His eyes land on a small, circular pin that adorns herdress. Real gold.
Beautifully crafted. It could keep afamily in bread for months. I had six when I was just twelve years old. She puts themoney for the berries in my hand. We walk toward the Seam in silence. The reaping system is unfair, with the poor gettingthe worst of it. You become eligible for the reaping theday you turn twelve. That year, your name is enteredonce.
At thirteen, twice. And so on and so on untilyou reach the age of eighteen, the final year ofeligibility, when your name goes into the pool seventimes. Say you are poor and starvingas we were. You can opt to add your name more timesin exchange for tesserae. You may do this for each of your family members aswell. So, at the age of twelve, I had my name enteredfour times.
Once, because I had to, and three timesfor tesserae for grain and oil for myself, Prim, and mymother. In fact, every year I have needed to do this. And the entries are cumulative. So now, at the age ofsixteen, my name will be in the reaping twenty times. Gale, who is eighteen and has been either helping orsingle-handedly feeding a family of five for sevenyears, will have his name in forty-two times. You can see why someone like Madge, who has neverbeen at risk of needing a tessera, can set him off.
Thechance of her name being drawn is very slimcompared to those of us who live in the Seam. Notimpossible, but slim. Gale knows his anger at Madge is misdirected. A way to plant hatredbetween the starving workers of the Seam and thosewho can generally count on supper and therebyensure we will never trust one another.
Hisrages seem pointless to me, although I never say so. But whatgood is yelling about the Capitol in the middle of thewoods?
In fact, itscares off the nearby game. I let him yell though. Better he does it in the woods than in the district. Gale and I divide our spoils, leaving two fish, a coupleof loaves of good bread, greens, a quart ofstrawberries, salt, paraffin, and a bit of money foreach.
At home, I find my mother and sister are ready to go. My mother wears a fine dress from her apothecarydays. Prim is in my first reaping outfit, a skirt andruffled blouse. A tub of warm water waits for me. I scrub off the dirtand sweat from the woods and even wash my hair. Tomy surprise, my mother has laid out one of her ownlovely dresses for me.
A soft blue thing with matchingshoes. And this issomething special. Her clothes from her past are veryprecious to her. I lether towel-dry it and braid it up on my head. I canhardly recognize myself in the cracked mirror thatleans against the wall. I hug her, because Iknow these next few hours will be terrible for her.
Herfirst reaping. That theunthinkable might happen. The kindonly Prim can draw out of me. The fish and greens are already cooking in a stew, butthat will be for supper. Thisevening, officials will come around and check to see ifthis is the case.
The camera crews, perched likebuzzards on rooftops, only add to the effect. People file in silently and sign in. The reaping is agood opportunity for the Capitol to keep tabs on thepopulation as well.
Twelve- through eighteen-year-olds are herded into roped areas marked off by ages,the oldest in the front, the young ones, like Prim,toward the back. Most refuse dealing with the racketeers butcarefully, carefully. I could beshot on a daily basis for hunting, but the appetites ofthose in charge protect me.
Not everyone can claimthe same. Anyway, Gale and I agree that if we have to choosebetween dying of hunger and a bullet in the head, thebullet would be much quicker. The space gets tighter, more claustrophobic as peoplearrive.
I find myself standing in a clump of sixteens from theSeam. We all exchange terse nods then focus ourattention on the temporary stage that is set up beforethe Justice Building. It holds three chairs, a podium,and two large glass balls, one for the boys and one forthe girls.
Twenty of them have Katniss Everdeen written onthem in careful handwriting. They murmur to each other and then lookwith concern at the empty seat. Just as the town clock strikes two, the mayor stepsup to the podium and begins to read.
He tells of the history of Panem, thecountry that rose up out of the ashes of a place thatwas once called North America. He lists the disasters,the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroachingseas that swallowed up so much of the land, thebrutal war for what little sustenance remained. Theresult was Panem, a shining Capitol ringed bythirteen districts, which brought peace and prosperityto its citizens. Then came the Dark Days, the uprisingof the districts against the Capitol.
Twelve weredefeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty ofTreason gave us the new laws to guarantee peaceand, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days mustnever be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games. The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. Inpunishment for the uprising, each of the twelvedistricts must provide one girl and one boy, calledtributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes willbe imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could holdanything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland.
Over a period of several weeks, the competitors mustfight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.
How little chance we would stand of survivinganother rebellion. Whatever words they use, the real message isclear. If you lift afinger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just aswe did in District Thirteen. To make it humiliating as well as torturous, theCapitol requires us to treat the Hunger Games as afestivity, a sporting event pitting every district againstthe others.
The last tribute alive receives a life of easeback home, and their district will be showered withprizes, largely consisting of food.
All year, the Capitolwill show the winning district gifts of grain and oiland even delicacies like sugar while the rest of usbattle starvation. Then he reads the list of past District 12 victors. Inseventy-four years, we have had exactly two. Only oneis still alive. Haymitch Abernathy, a paunchy, middle-aged man, who at this moment appears holleringsomething unintelligible, staggers onto the stage, andfalls into the third chair.
The mayor looks distressed. Since all of this is beingtelevised, right now District 12 is the laughingstock ofPanem, and he knows it. He quickly tries to pull theattention back to the reaping by introducing EffieTrinket. And may the odds be ever in your favor! Through the crowd, I spot Gale looking back at mewith a ghost of a smile.
As reapings go, this one atleast has a slight entertainment factor. But suddenly Iam thinking of Gale and his forty-two names in thatbig glass ball and how the odds are not in his favor. Not compared to a lot of the boys. She reaches in, digs herhand deep into the ball, and pulls out a slip of paper. Effie Trinket crosses back to the podium, smoothesthe slip of paper, and reads out the name in a clearvoice.
One time, when I was in a blind in a tree, waitingmotionless for game to wander by, I dozed off and fellten feet to the ground, landing on my back. It was asif the impact had knocked every wisp of air from mylungs, and I lay there struggling to inhale, to exhale,to do anything.
Someone isgripping my arm, a boy from the Seam, and I thinkmaybe I started to fall and he caught me.
There must have been some mistake. Prim was one slip of paper in thousands! Taken the tesserae, refused to let her dothe same? One slip. One slip in thousands. The oddshad been entirely in her favor. Somewhere far away, I can hear the crowdmurmuring unhappily as they always do when atwelve-year-old gets chosen because no one thinksthis is fair. And then I see her, the blood drained fromher face, hands clenched in fists at her sides, walkingwith stiff, small steps up toward the stage, passingme, and I see the back of her blouse has becomeuntucked and hangs out over her skirt.
The other kids make wayimmediately allowing me a straight path to the stage. I reach her just as she is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm, I push her behind me.
In some districts, in which winning thereaping is such a great honor, people are eager to risktheir lives, the volunteering is complicated. But inDistrict 12, where the wordtribute is pretty muchsynonymous with the word corpse, volunteers are allbut extinct. I am the girl who brings the strawberries. Thegirl his daughter might have spoken of on occasion. The girl who five years ago stood huddled with hermother and sister, as he presented her, the oldestchild, with a medal of valor.
A medal for her father,vaporized in the mines. Does he remember that? Prim is screaming hysterically behind me. A weakling. I will give no one that satisfaction. I steel myself andclimb the steps.
Come on, everybody! To the everlasting credit of the people of District 12,not one person claps. Not even the ones holdingbetting slips, the ones who are usually beyond caring.
Possibly because they know me from the Hob, orknew my father, or have encountered Prim, who noone can help loving. So instead of acknowledgingapplause, I stand there unmoving while they take partin the boldest form of dissent they can manage. Which says we do not agree. We do notcondone. All of this is wrong. Then something unexpected happens. At first one,then another, then almost every member of the crowdtouches the three middle fingers of their left hand totheir lips and holds it out to me.
It is an old andrarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seenat funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, itmeans good-bye to someone you love. Now I am truly in danger of crying, but fortunatelyHaymitch chooses this time to come staggering acrossthe stage to congratulate me. Look atthis one! Is he addressing the audience or is he so drunk hemight actually be taunting the Capitol? With every cameragleefully trained on him, I have just enough time torelease the small, choked sound in my throat andcompose myself.
I put my hands behind my back andstare into the distance. I can see the hills I climbed this morning with Gale. For a moment, I yearn for something Becausewho else would have volunteered for Prim? Haymitch is whisked away on a stretcher, and EffieTrinket is trying to get the ball rolling again. Oh, no, I think. Not him. Because I recognize thisname, although I have never spoken directly to itsowner.
Peeta Mellark. No, the odds are not in my favor today. I watch himas he makes his way toward the stage. Mediumheight, stocky build, ashy blond hair that falls inwaves overhis forehead.
Yet he climbs steadily onto thestage and takes his place. Effie Trinket asks for volunteers, but no one stepsforward. This is standard. Family devotion only goes so far for most people onreaping day.
What I did was the radical thing. Why him? I think. Peeta Mellark and I are not friends. Not even neighbors. Our only realinteraction happened years ago. It was during the worst time. My father had beenkilled in the mine accident three months earlier in thebitterest January anyone could remember. Thenumbness of his loss had passed, and the pain wouldhit me out of nowhere, doubling me over, racking mybody with sobs.
Where are you? I would cry out in mymind. Where have you gone? Of course, there wasnever any answer. The district had given us a small amount of money ascompensation for his death, enough to cover onemonth of grieving at which time my mother would beexpected to get a job. No amount ofpleading from Prim seemed to affect her. I was terrified. I suppose now that my mother waslocked in some dark world of sadness, but at thetime, all I knew was that I had lost not only a father,but a mother as well.
At eleven years old, with Primjust seven, I took over as head of the family. Therewas no choice. I bought our food at the market andcooked it as best I could and tried to keep Prim andmyself looking presentable. Because if it had becomeknown that my mother could no longer care for us,25 P a g e The Hunger Games — Suzanne Collins The sadness, themarks of angry hands on their faces, thehopelessness that curled their shoulders forward. Icould never let that happen to Prim.
The community home would crush her like abug. So I kept our predicament a secret. But the money ran out and we were slowly starving todeath. I kept tellingmyself if I could only hold out until May, just May8th, I would turn twelve and be able to sign up for thetesserae and get that precious grain and oil to feedus. Only there were still several weeks to go. We couldwell be dead by then. Children from a family with too many to feed.
Those injured in the mines. Straggling through thestreets. And one day, you come upon them sittingmotionless against a wall or lying in the Meadow, youhear the wails from a house, and the Peacekeepersare called in to retrieve the body.
Starvation is neverthe cause of death officially. But that fools no one. On the afternoon of my encounter with Peeta Mellark,the rain was falling in relentless icy sheets. Bythe time the market closed, I was shaking so hard Idropped my bundle of baby clothes in a mud puddle.
Besides, no one wantedthose clothes. Because at home was my motherwith her dead eyes and my little sister, with herhollow cheeks and cracked lips. I found myself stumbling along a muddy lane behindthe shops that serve the wealthiest townspeople. Themerchants live above their businesses, so I wasessentially in their backyards.
I remember theoutlines of garden beds not yet planted for the spring,a goat or two in a pen, one sodden dog tied to a post,hunched defeated in the muck. All forms of stealing are forbidden in District Punishable by death. But it crossed my mind thatthere might be something in the trash bins, and thosewere fair game.
Unfortunately, the bins had just been emptied. The ovens were inthe back, and a golden glow spilled out the openkitchen door. The words were ugly and I had nodefense. He stuck with the town kids, so how would I? His mother went back into the bakery, grumbling, buthe must have been watching me as I made my waybehind the pen that held their pig and leaned againstthe far side of an old apple tree.
Myknees buckled and I slid down the tree trunk to itsroots. It was too much. I was too sick and weak andtired, oh, so tired. Let them call the Peacekeepers andtake us to the community home, I thought. Or betteryet, let me die right here in the rain. There was a clatter in the bakery and I heard thewoman screaming again and the sound of a blow, andI vaguely wondered what was going on.
It was the boy. In his arms, he carried twolarge loaves of bread that must have fallen into thefire because the crusts were scorched black. Why not?
No one decent will buy burnedbread! He began to tear off chunks from the burned partsand toss them into the trough, and the front bakerybell rung and the mother disappeared to help acustomer. The boy never even glanced my way, but I waswatching him. Because of the bread, because of thered weal that stood out on his cheekbone. What hadshe hit him with? My parents never hit us. The boy took one look back to the bakery as ifchecking that the coast was clear, then, his attentionback on the pig, he threw a loaf of bread in mydirection.
The second quickly followed, and hesloshed back to the bakery, closing the kitchen doortightly behind him. I stared at the loaves in disbelief. They were fine,perfect really, except for the burned areas. Did hemean for me to have them? He must have. Becausethere they were at my feet. Before anyone couldwitness what had happened I shoved the loaves upunder my shirt, wrapped the hunting jacket tightlyabout me, and walked swiftly away. The heat of thebread burned into my skin, but I clutched it tighter,clinging to life.
By the time I reached home, the loaves had cooledsomewhat, but the insides were still warm. Iscraped off the black stuff and sliced the bread. Weate an entire loaf, slice by slice. It was good heartybread, filled with raisins and nuts. I put my clothes to dry at the fire, crawled into bed,and fell into a dreamless sleep.
Might have droppedthe loaves into the flames, knowing it meant beingpunished, and then delivered them to me. But Idismissed this. It must have been an accident. Whywould he have done it? Still,just throwing me the bread was an enormouskindness that would have surely resulted in a beatingif discovered. We ate slices of bread for breakfast and headed toschool. It was as if spring had come overnight. Warmsweet air. Fluffy clouds. At school, I passed the boy inthe hall, his cheek had swelled up and his eye hadblackened.
But as I collected Primand started for home that afternoon, I found himstaring at me from across the school yard. Our eyesmet for only a second, then he turned his head away. The first dandelion of the year. A bell went offin my head. I thought of the hours spent in the woodswith my father and I knew how we were going tosurvive. To this day, I can never shake the connection betweenthis boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave mehope, and the dandelion that reminded me that I wasnot doomed.
And more than once, I have turned inthe school hallway and caught his eyes trained onme, only to quickly flit away. I feel like I owe himsomething, and I hate owing people. I thought about it a couple of times,but the opportunity never seemed to present itself. And now it never will.
Exactlyhow am I supposed to work in a thank-you in there? The mayor finishes the dreary Treaty of Treason andmotions for Peeta and me to shake hands. His are assolid and warm as those loaves of bread.
Peeta looksme right in the eye and gives my hand what I think ismeant to be a reassuring squeeze. We turn back to face the crowd as the anthem ofPanem plays. Oh, well, I think.
There will be twenty-four of us. Oddsare someone else will kill him before I do. Of course, the odds have not been very dependable oflate. The moment the anthem ends, we are taken intocustody. Maybe tributeshave tried to escape in the past. I know velvetbecause my mother has a dress with a collar made ofthe stuff. It helpsto calm me as I try to prepare for the next hour.
Thetime allotted for the tributes to say goodbye to theirloved ones. I cannot afford to get upset, to leave thisroom with puffy eyes and a red nose. Crying is not anoption. There will be more cameras at the trainstation. My sister and my mother come first. I reach out toPrim and she climbs on my lap, her arms around myneck, head on my shoulder, just like she did whenshe was a toddler.
My mother sits beside me andwraps her arms around us. For a few minutes, we saynothing. Then I start telling them all the things theymust remember to do, now that I will not be there todo them for them.
Prim is not to take any tesserae. I tried toteach her a couple of times and it was disastrous. But shemakes out well with her goat, so I concentrate onthat. When I am done with instructions about fuel, andtrading, and staying in school, I turn to my motherand grip her arm, hard.
Are youlistening to me? Whatever you see on the screen. In it is all the anger, all the fear I felt at herabandonment. She pulls her arm from my grasp, moved to angerherself now.
And take care of her! Maybe you can win. Prim must know that in her heart. Thecompetition will be far beyond my abilities. Boyswho are two to three times my size. Girls who knowtwenty different ways to kill you with a knife. People to weed outbefore the real fun begins. I just want you to comehome. Really, really try?
I love youboth. Ibury my head in one of the velvet pillows as if thiscan block the whole thing out. But we do know eachother a bit, and he knows Prim even better.
When shesells her goat cheeses at the Hob, she puts two ofthem aside for him and he gives her a generousamount of bread in return. I feel certain he wouldnever have hit his son the way she did over theburned bread. But why has he come to see me? The baker sits awkwardly on the edge of one of theplush chairs.
He must havejust said goodbye to his son. He pulls a white paper package from his jacket pocketand holds it out to me. I open it and find cookies. These are a luxury we can never afford. Myfriend Gale gave you a squirrel for it.
He rises andcoughs to clear his throat. People deal with me, but they are genuinelyfond of Prim. Maybe there will be enough fondness tokeep her alive. My next guest is also unexpected. Madge walksstraight to me. One thing to remind you of home.
Will youwear this? Wearing a token from my district isabout the last thing on my mind. A pin. Madge gives me one more. A kiss on thecheek. His body is familiar tome — the way it moves, the smell of wood smoke,even the sound of his heart beating I know from quietmoments on a hunt — but this is the first time Ireally feel it, lean and hard-muscled against my own.
Even he had to scrap hisown work sometimes. Anotheryear, they tossed everybody into a landscape ofnothing but boulders and sand and scruffy bushes. Iparticularly hated that year.
Many contestants werebitten by venomous snakes or went insane fromthirst. Not muchentertainment in that. We spent one Hunger Games watching theplayers freeze to death at night. You could hardly seethem because they were just huddled in balls andhad no wood for fires or torches or anything. It wasconsidered very anti-climactic in the Capitol, all thosequiet, bloodless deaths. Rarely evenridden in wagons. In the Seam, we travel on foot.
The station is swarmingwith reporters with their insectlike cameras traineddirectly on my face. Peeta Mellark, on the other hand, has obviously beencrying and interestingly enough does not seem to betrying to cover it up.
I immediately wonder if this willbe his strategy in the Games. To appear weak andfrightened, to reassure the other tributes that he is nocompetition at all, and then come out fighting.
Thisworked very well for a girl, Johanna Mason, fromDistrict 7 a few years back.