Whenever something gets popular, people who had nothing to do with it attempt to cash in on its popularity to suit their own ends. The Hunger Games is well on its way to becoming one of the biggest movies of all time, so of course special interest groups have decided to use author Suzanne Collins’ franchise as a way to make a high-profile stand. One of the ways they’re doing that is by trying to get the book banned.
It’s amazing to think that there are still people out there who think book banning of any kind is an acceptable practice. It sounds like a leftover relic from some long, bygone era. Shouldn’t we be more evolved than this? Hasn’t everyone read Fahrenheit 451? Apparently not.
Complaints leading to the banning are of a wide variety, and what’s being targeted as the problem with Suzanne Collins’ books will probably vary depending on which special interest group you’re talking to.
Concerned parents organizations are sure to whine that the books contain mature material they don’t want to have to talk to their kids about. I’ve never understood why parental laziness is a good justification for censorship, but it’s the kind of argument people seem to buy.
Race relations groups are complaining about the way races of different characters were changed for the movies. Characters described as white in the book were dark skinned in the movie, and some which were white in the movie were dark skinned in the book. You’d think that those skin-color changes happened across the board would negate their argument. Apparently different groups are lobbying in favor of different skin colors, separately. That seems to say a lot more about them than it does about the material they’re complaining about.
Right now The Hunger Games is on the banned book list at the Skokie Public Library in Illinois and the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom says it was among the most “challenged” books of the year.
Is The Hunger Games an appropriate book for children? Of course not. It’s about teens battling each other to the death. It’s violent. It’s not intended for kids. Hunger Games is young adult literature which suggests teens to people in their early twenties as the book’s intended audience.
Rather than banning it, the answer here is for parents to take responsibility for what their kids are reading. It’s up to you to decide whether or not your children can put The Hunger Games in their heads, not your local government. Then once you decide, do other parents the courtesy of letting them make their own decisions too, by leaving the books on the shelves.