Wow! I was quoted in an article “The Hunger Games: Empowering or Too Dark for Teens?” by librarian Audrey Barbakoff around YASaves! (beaming) She used quotes from my response to the whole Darkness Too Visible article and the YASaves movement because some parents are saying there is too much violence in The Hunger Games, and the Gurden op-ed is being brought back up. I love what Barbakoff quoted from me–they’re things I believe strongly and that to me show the power of YA novels to help teens–and I think it’s so appropriate that she quoted me in an article aboutThe Hunger Games.
I think The Hunger Games is beautifully and powerfully written, and works to make readers aware of the impact of violence and oppression, the horror of it. I loved how strong Katniss was, how she sacrificed herself to save her sister, tried to help others, and fought the oppressive system AND actually won. There was a lot of violence in the book, but to me none of it was gratuitous, the way many TV shows and movies are. It was written with emotion, at times with pain, and always in context, showing us the need for survival, and also distaste at the oppressors who put Katniss there and at the oppressive system who created it. It’s a powerful novel that can stir up fantastic discussion and greater awareness of oppression that exists now in our society.
I identified with The Hunger Games a lot as I read it (being a ritual abuse survivor), and if I’d read it as a teen, it would have been one of those books that helped me feel less alone, and that helped me believe in my own inner strength and my strength as a girl, in the importance of resisting oppression, and in the possibility of positive change coming out of brave actions and resistance. And isn’t that something that we want to encourage? Resistance to oppression, greater sensitivity to violence, greater compassion and awareness of our fellow human beings? Girls knowing they can be strong?
I loved The Hunger Games so much that I mention in it HUNTED (and I also tried to show many of the things that I believe The Hunger Games shows–the horror of oppression, violence, and hatred, and the power we each have to resist and overcome oppression), so I love that I was quoted in the article.