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The Hunger Games trilogy was a huge hit. Now comes the movie. It’s a brave new world of teen dystopia. We’ll dive in.

In this image released by Lionsgate, Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from "The Hunger Games," set for release on March 23, 2012. (AP)
In this image released by Lionsgate, Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from "The Hunger Games," set for release on March 23, 2012. (AP)

The story of The Hunger Games is bleak, violent and absolutely gripping to a generation of young readers and many not so young.  In a post-apocalyptic post-America, every district has to offer up two children every year to fight to the death - gladiator-style, on reality TV – so that others might eat and live.

The trilogy of books has sold 26 million copies.  The movie opens today.  A story of survival, love, rebellion and the easy brutality of power.  Is this a generation grappling with the rough world they’re being left?

This hour, On Point: inside the compelling dystopia of The Hunger Games.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Lev Grossman, senior writer and book reviewer at Time Magazine. You can read his review of the Hunger Games books here.

Betsy Cornwell, graduate student at the University of Notre Dame and herself an author of young adult literature. She's a former editor and contributor to the magazine Teen Ink.

Claudia Puig, film critic at USA Today.

From Tom's Reading List

Time "Kids fall in love with a story: it is their innocent equivalent of volcanic passion. They hear the tale from a parent, or their older siblings read a “young adult” book — read it over and over, because each new visit is like reconnecting with an old friend whose life is more fraught and much cooler than theirs."

New York Times "The past year has seen the publication of more than a dozen post-apocalyptic young adult novels that explore what the future could look like once our unsustainable lifestyles cease to be sustained. (Spoiler alert: It’s gonna be bad.)"

The Today Show "Each recipe includes the book and chapter where the food was mentioned in the series, a great addition for the die-hard fan who can use it to get in the mood by reading the passage before chowing down! (We've added a snippet of each passage to go along with the recipes below.)"

Video: Hunger Games Trailer

Playlist

“Abraham’s Daughter” by Arcade Fire
“Eyes Open” by Taylor Swift
“Just a Game” by Birdy

This program aired on March 23, 2012.

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