There’s no denying that Rutherford County got swept up in Hunger Games mania this year. Murfreesboro placed on Amazon.com’s list of the top 20 cities most obsessed with the dystopian thriller, and the county has been buzzing about Katniss and her bow and arrow for months.
In Rutherford County, it started with an initiative called One Book, a program created by local literacy non-profit Read To Succeed aimed at promoting literacy in our community. One Book is a collaborative project of Read To Succeed, Barnes & Noble, Linebaugh Library System, and United Way, created to challenge readers in Rutherford County to join in reading the same book.
In case you’ve missed this year’s One Book madness, Read To Succeed’s choice The Hunger Games tells the story of a totalitarian state called Panem that has risen from the postwar ashes of North America. Each year, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 to 18 are chosen from each Panem district to compete in the Hunger Games, a gladiatorial competition in which only one teen can survive. This battle is televised and played throughout all of Panem, forcing its residents to watch with a mix of grisly fascination and tyrannical obligation.
It’s a bloody, at times gruesome, tale wrought with messages about our culture’s fascination with reality television, our desensitization to violence and the danger of an all-too-powerful government. And from its intended young-adult audience to their parents and grandparents, we can’t stop reading.
As the fifth year of this event comes to a close, One Book's committee invites the community to formally submit their opinions—whether you loved or loathed The Hunger Games— in a survey and to keep reading this summer with One Book's 2012 supplemental reading list.
Visit readtosucceed.org/onebook.htm to fill out a quick survey before July 1st and you will be entered to win a gift card to JoZoara’s coffee shop in Murfreesboro.
Read on to find out what One Book thought about choosing this year instead of The Hunger Games and for a list of what to read next if you loved the young adult novel.
Suggested Summer Reading (including titles considered for 2012’s One Book)
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - A boy embarks on a New York City treasure hunt, following clues from his father, killed in the World Trade Center attacks.
- People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks - The incredible journey of a 15th-century Hebrew manuscript is discovered through a series of microscopic clues; this fictional take on a real-life event makes for spellbinding novel.
- Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes - The brutality of war is detailed in this extraordinary novel by a decorated Vietnam veteran. Matterhorn is considered by many critics as one of the best accounts of the Vietnam war to date.
- The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman--The lives of a group of misfit reporters and editors of an English language newspaper in Rome is portrayed in their lovable imperfection.
- Kindred by Octavia Butler - A young woman is transported from her life in modern-day California to the antebellum South in this magical novel.
- Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann - A look at the intertwined lives of New Yorkers in the 1970s, connected through a tightrope walker at the top floor of the World Trade Center.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee--An American classic told by young Scout Finch who, along with her brother Jem, are caught up in the racially charged events in the Deep South in the 1930s.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (the runner-up choice of this year's One Book): A young African-American mother of five who died in 1951 has likely saved your life. Her cells, harvested without her consent, started a medical revolution and multimillion-dollar industry, yet her family can’t afford health insurance.
- A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure (MTSU's Community Summer Read for 2012): The first woman to row alone across an ocean
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: A World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption
- Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall: A modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together
If You Loved The Hunger Games, try:
- Camp Half-Blood Series- Rick Riordan
Follows the story of Perseus “Percy” Jackson as he discovers his true heritage as a descendant of Greek gods and fights to save his friends and family on Mount Olympus.
- The Chronicles of Narnia- C.S. Lewis
Fantasy series following the stories of the Pevensie children and their friends, who enter the magical land of Narnia through portals in their own homes and backyards, and their adventures with the lion Aslan, the King of Narnia.
- Ender’s Game- Orson Scott Card
A gifted young boy, Ender, may be the earth’s only hope in a global war against an alien army.
- The Inheritance Cycle Series- Christopher Paolini
A fantasy series in which a teenage boy, Eragon, and his dragon, must lead a rebellion to overthrow a wicked lord.
- The Lord of the Rings- J.R.R. Tolkien
Fantasy series in which Frodo Baggins, a hobbit, must band with his fellowship of hobbits, elves, dwarves, men, and wizards in order to destroy the Ring of Power created by the evil Lord Sauron.
- A Wrinkle in Time Series- Madeleine L’Engle
Science-fiction series based on the Murry family whose gifted children seek to find their father, a government agent, who has mysteriously disappeared into a fourth dimension.