The Girl Who Was on Fire (Movie Edition): Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Series

The Girl Who Was on Fire (Movie Edition): Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Series

Paperback(Media tie-in)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936661589
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 01/17/2012
Edition description: Media tie-in
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 418,851
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 1240L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Leah Wilson graduated from Duke University with a degree in Culture and Modern Fiction and is currently Editor-in-Chief, Smart Pop, at BenBella Books. She lives in Cambridge, Mass.

Read an Excerpt


You could call the Hunger Games a series that is—like its heroine—on fire. But its popularity, in itself, is nothing new. We live in an era of blockbuster young adult book series: Harry Potter, Twilight, now the Hunger Games. It’s more unusual these days for there not to be a YA series sweeping the nation.

All of these series have certain things in common: compelling characters; complex worlds you want to spend time exploring; a focus on family and community. But the Hunger Games is, by far, the darkest of the three. In Twilight, love conquers all; Bella ends the series bound eternally to Edward and mother to
Renesmee, without having to give up her human family or Jacob in the process. In Harry Potter, though there is loss, the world is returned to familiar stability after Voldemort’s defeat, and before we leave them, we see all of the main characters happily married, raising the next generation of witches and wizards.

In the Hunger Games, while Katniss may conclude the series similarly married and a mother, the ending is much more bittersweet. Her sister and Gale are both lost to her in different but equally insurmountable ways. The world is better than it was, but there are hints that this improvement is only temporary—that the kind of inhumanity we saw in the districts under Capitol rule is the true status quo, and that the current peace is ephemeral, precious, something toward which Panem will always have to struggle.

In other words, the Hunger Games ends in a way that feels surprisingly adult —bleak, realistic, as far from wish fulfillment as one can imagine. Such a conclusion only emphasizes something YA readers have known for years: that there is serious, engaging, transformative work going on in YA literature. The Hunger Games is more than Gale versus Peeta; there’s so much more at stake in this series than love (and so much more at stake in loving, here, as well). The series takes on themes of power and propaganda, trauma and recovery, war and compassion. It’s about not just learning one’s power, but learning the limits of one’s power as well.

Because at its core, the Hunger Games is a coming-of-age story, and not just for Katniss—it’s a coming-of-age story for Panem, and in a way, for us, its readers, as well. The series pushes us to grow up and take responsibility both personally and politically for our choices: those Capitol residents we see milling
through the streets in Mockingjay, the same Capitol residents who so raptly watched the Hunger Games on television year after year without recognizing the suffering that made it possible, are us. That’s a heavy message to take away from any book series, but an important one for all of us—whether we ourselves would be shelved under Young Adult or not.

The pieces you’re about to read don’t cover everything in the Hunger Games series (they couldn’t cover everything), but they do tease out at least a few of the series’ most thought-provoking ideas. Together, they provide an extended meditation on the series and its world, on Katniss and our response to her, on love and family and sacrifice and survival. But you shouldn’t take this to mean the anthology is always as serious as Mockingjay at it heaviest. There’s humor, and warmth, and hope here, too.

Each of our contributors has brought his or her own particular interests and expertise to exploring the series, and topics run the gamut from fashion to science to reality television and real-world
media training.

Still, you’ll find these essays tend to return to the same events and the same ideas over and over again. But each time we revisit them our perspective shifts—the same way reality in the series is constantly shifting—letting us interpret old events, old ideas, in new ways. As each writer passes the torch to the next, our contributors cover new ground while pushing our understanding of the Hunger Games as a whole further, toward a greater awareness of everything these books have to offer.

While editing this anthology—both the original collection, and the three new essays included here—I was alternately surprised, fascinated, and moved to tears, a tribute not only to the Hunger Games series itself but also to the talented YA writers whose work is collected here. And I hope that you, too, will find something fresh to feel or think about in these pages—that The Girl Who Was on Fire encourages you to debate, question, and experience the Hunger Games in a whole new way.

Table of Contents

"Why So Hungry for the Hunger Games?" – Sarah Rees Brennan
"Team Katniss" – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
"Your Heart Is a Weapon the Size of Your Fist" – Mary Borsellino
"Smoke and Mirrors" – Elizabeth M. Rees
"Someone to Watch Over Me" – Lili Wilkinson
"Reality Hunger" – Ned Vizzini
"Panem et Circenses" – Carrie Ryan
"Not So Weird Science" – Cara Lockwood
"Hunger Game Theory" - Diana Peterfreund
"Crime of Fashion" – Terri Clark
"Bent, Shattered, and Mended" – Blythe Woolston
"Did the Third Book Suck? - Brent Hartinger
"The Politics of Mockingjay" – Sarah Darer Littman
"Gale: Knight. Cowboy. Badass." - Jackson Pearce
"The Inevitable Decline of Decadence" – Adrienne Kress
"Community in the Face of Tyranny" – Bree Despain

Customer Reviews

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Girl Who Was on Fire 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 265 reviews.
prancing7dancing7dino More than 1 year ago
it was nice to read after the series because your so addicted you need something else to read about it, this was kind of like a step towards withdrawl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't expect the book to be great, just a supplement to the series. Three or so of the thirteen essays are worth reading. There is some good insight, but for the most part, the essays just seem bland and boring comparing the Hunger Games series to reality TV shows or things like that. I bought it just to have, but I'd suggest waiting for it at your local library as to not spend $12 on it.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
I loved THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy Those books have stayed with me, and I think about their meaning in my life and in society. I like it when a book not only entertains me but is so well-written that I have to keep looking to find hidden meaning. When I saw this book with essays written by different YA authors on various aspects of THE HUNGER GAMES, I had to read it. There are essays on how the fashion influenced the rebellion, the reason why Katniss chose Peeta, and how reality shows affect the society of today and led up to the Hunger Games of Panem. There are funny pieces and serious works that really make you think. I really enjoyed the essay by Blythe Woolston about the mental health of the tributes and how that explains many of the problems of their society. I also liked the one on the politics of MOCKINGJAY and the revolution. If you want to take THE HUNGER GAMES to the next level, then you may find these essays enlightening.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This really helped me think of how our society relates to that of the hunger games whilst helping me understand and see certain things in the book better. I actually went back in the book to say oh i didnt see that before (in the 500 times i have read the hunger games).
Aik More than 1 year ago
It took me longer than usual to finish this book, not because it's flat or dull, but because it has too much information to absorb fully in a short time. The Girl Who Was on Fire is a wonderful collection of essays from some of the most popular authors in the YA community on the various aspects of The Hunger Games. These authors share their individual insights and perspectives on the book and/or the series - their topics ranging from the characters, the fashion, the scientific aspects, to the mentality of the Games itself. 'Love' plays an important role in Mary Borsellino's Your Heart Is a Weapon the Size of Your Fist. In her essay, she states that love can be your greatest strength, but it can also be your greatest weakness. Elizabeth M. Rees' Smoke and Mirrors discusses the ways the Capitol uses to trick and deceive, and how these tactics work. On the other hand, Bent, Shattered, and Mended by Blythe Woolston tells us about the impact of the Games on the surviving tributes, how the horror of it all affects their lives as an aftermath of the Games. Reading The Girl Who Was on Fire was a great experience for me. The essays are thought-provoking and deep in meaning. They made me think about many things, and I felt enlightened more than once while reading the book. Are you a fan of The Hunger Games? If yes, then I'm sure you'd enjoy these essays immensely. Even if you're not a fan of the series, this book will prove to be a valuable source of knowledge. What we can be sure of is that The Girl Who Was on Fire is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. So, what are you waiting for?
vjp99 More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was very well edited and brought different views all together into one amazing volume.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Obviiusly the series was amazingggggg but this book is just an explanation sort of i mean it gives other peoples thoughts and ideas it mite help u understand the series a but more
Samuel Rickless More than 1 year ago
this wasn't the best book ever. I thought it was going to be the fourth book, but it turned out that it was only a book about the books. So, WARNING this is not a book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am VERY happy that Katniss chose Peeta because like she said "i dont need a raging fire i have enough of that myself what i need is a dandelion" (the dandelion stands for hope and love). Oh and BTW if you like the Hunger Games Trilogy you might enjoy Divergent, Insurgent, The Cabinet of Wonders, The Cestial Globe, The Jewel of Kalderdash, Eve, Once, and Red Dawn. ( i read all of these except Red Dawn.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know i read the books so fast. This really help me go deeper in to the book and the little deatils.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool book to ponder over and fuel your obsessive energy. Also good for showing off said obsession. Yay The Hunger Games! P.S. Team Peeta forever!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a HUGE fan of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Prim...I sugest this book to anyone that is interested in Utopian/Distopian Societies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have an obssesion with the series, then yes, it is worth it, but Im not finished the book yet, but it seems like its just about Katniss. And really, the thing that kept me into The Hunger Games, was Peeta Mellark. So, its pretty good if your favorite character is Katniss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book showed me some great things i didnt even realize. It is an INFRECING book. I kinda got bored b/c it kinda draggged....but still it is worth it. Go to my post i worte on mockingjay. Push the more button then look untill u find a big long one thay says EVERYONE DIES. Yep...thats mine. This u can tell..inspired me. This book sparks things that i really had never thoight about. it..its too long to re write=]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alright *takkes his hand and walks toward result 8*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It really helpes u calm down after reading the three books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're a rabid fan of The Hunger Games you'll most likely find the essays collected within to be insightful, making you think more deeply about the Girl Who Was On Fire and her companions. The esays at the beginning about the actual text were good. As it went on, though, some of the essays were hit or miss. There was one about fashion that I foud fairly boring, but the one about PTSD was really good. One essay about media and war seemed more like the author just wanted to talk about how she's been oh-so-put-upon by the nay-sayers of the world, and I often forgot that I was reading a book about The Hunger Games and not a book about whether or not the War on Terror is/was justified. I ended up skimming most of that pity party. BUT this is definitely woth the read if only for the literary essays. Those set the girl on fire again and make it worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to get the book but havent yet. But i can truly say that from the sample of this book that it will truly be as addictive and exiliratingas the Hunger Games trilogy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It scared the crap out of me when the mutant jumped out of the tree!!! I can not what to buy it on dvd so buying it!!!!!!!!!!!! If I had to pick a team it would be Katnip or Gale!!!best trilogy ever made
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GO PEETA!!!! I Really HATE Gale I can't belive Katniss likes him BAALCH.... Gale is gross he reminds me of an old man!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Team peata or team gale? I say team peata!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once a year, 24 children between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen at the reaping. The cruel entertainment for the rich people is finally coming. The Hunger Games have begun. In this action-packed thriller, 24 kids are chosen at random to fight in any given territory, until they die. This book has the perfect amount of romance, fantasy, action and science-fiction for every reader. There is a twist on every page. Katniss Everdeen has never been a fan of the Hunger Games. Neither has her best friend In the book, Katniss has a growing love for her new friend Peeta. The games are starting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a book ok? Who cares if katniss is being dramatic!!!! Thes how she was made ppl! The author did a really good job of leaving us up to decide who we thought was better, Gale or Peeta. And who cares if it turns out to be like twilight!!! THE BOOKS ARE GOOD and thats all that matters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please anyone who is reading this. Dont let this become one of those twilight movie. You will just ruin the books/movies for everyone if we start choosing teams or somthing