The Girl Who Was On Fire: A Hunger Games Anthology

Posted April 4, 2011 by Sara | Novel Novice 4 Comments


Suzanne Collins has been pretty clear that she isn’t planning to write any more books in The Hunger Games series. But for fans looking for more chances to read about Katniss, Peeta, Gale and more from the world of Panem, SmartPop Books has released The Girl Who Was On Fire, an anthology of essays about The Hunger Games written by some of today’s best YA authors.

The Girl Who Was On Fire offers readers a chance to go deeper into the world of The Hunger Games, exploring themes and characters from Collins’ series in a way the original books don’t allow for. Each essay in this book brings up ideas and topics that you might have considered on your own. But the essays in The Girl Who Was On Fire gives readers a chance to explore these thoughts even further; to take this thought-provoking, edgy YA series about a terrifying dystopian future and place into a context of today.

As editor Leah Wilson writes in her introduction:

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 politcally for our choices […] 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 Girl Who Was On Fire lets readers explore all the issues and ideologies that The Hunger Games series provokes within us. It takes the book off of the fiction shelves and shines it under a light of present-day reality.

But it’s not just the socio-political ideologies that are explored in The Girl Who Was On Fire. In her essay, Jennifer Lynn Barnes explores who Katniss is as a character — independent of Peeta, Gale, or any other character. She looks at her shortfalls, and her subtle strengths, even drawing a fitting comparison to Buffy: “Katniss never gets to sacrifice herself [like Buffy]. She doesn’t get the heroic death. She survives — and that leaves her doing the hardest thing in the world: living in it once so many of the ones that she loves are gone.”

Other essays explore themes such as media training, the use of fashion as a political tool, and even the weaponry of love. Some look at the influence of reality TV, and the frightening fine line between what we see on television today and what Collins presents as “entertainment” in the world of Panem.

In so many ways, the essays in The Girl Who Was On Fire offer both an academic and a contemporary approach to The Hunger Games — all without feeling clinical or dry. These authors explore a series that readers ADORE; books and characters that people are fiercely attached to — and discuss them in a way that is both thought-provoking and engaging. This book is the perfect opportunity for fans of The Hunger Games to live in this world a little longer, explore themes they’ve already considered more in-depth, and take a second look at a series they already love.

The Girl Who Was On Fire is now available.

It was edited by Leah Wilson. The contributors are: Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellino, Sarah Rees Brennan, Terri Clark, Bree Despain, Adrienne Kress, Cara Lockwood, Elizabeth M. Rees, Carrie Ryan, Ned Vizzini, Lili Wilkinson, Blythe Woolston, and Sarah Darer Littman

Here is the official summary:

Praised by writers from Stephen King to Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins’ New York Times bestselling Hunger Games trilogy is dark, captivating, and deeply thought-provoking. Part straight-up survivalist adventure, part rich allegory, and part political thriller, the series has become a new YA favorite. A film version of the first book, The Hunger Games, is currently in development.

The Girl Who Was On Fire offers even more to think about for teen readers already engrossed by the Hunger Games. From the trilogy’s darker themes of violence and social control to reality television, fashion, and weaponry, the collection’s exploration of the Hunger Games by other YA writers reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, protagonist Katniss’ world really is.

The Girl Who Was On Fire covers all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy.

Sara | Novel Novice
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4 responses to “The Girl Who Was On Fire: A Hunger Games Anthology

  1. […] Novel Novice: In so many ways, the essays in The Girl Who Was On Fire offer both an academic and a contemporary approach to The Hunger Games — all without feeling clinical or dry. These authors explore a series that readers ADORE; books and characters that people are fiercely attached to — and discuss them in a way that is both thought-provoking and engaging. This book is the perfect opportunity for fans of The Hunger Games to live in this world a little longer, explore themes they’ve already considered more in-depth, and take a second look at a series they already love. […]

  2. donnylynn gates

    the hunger games is the best book i have ever read and I DONT EVEN READ MUCH but i have to say i am so stoked for the other books and cant wait tilll the movie comes out march 23rd oh yeah

  3. I ripped through this little book in a day and found that it only deepened and textured my understanding of The Hunger Games! The trilogy, understood through the eyes of these YA essayists, is so much more than just an action tale or even just a story about rising up against your oppressors or finding your voice or etc.

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