The Hunger Games – Thoughts & Ramblings

About a week ago, I started reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. It started with Book 1, and by the end of the book, I had chewed every single nail down to the bone. Last Friday night, I was sitting at home wishing for Book 2, and my 8th grade history teacher sent me the Kindle version so I could download it to my iPhone. I finished Book 2 yesterday and started Book 3 right away.

I am hooked. I normally don’t take the time to read anything. In fact, I’m lucky if I can thumb through a magazine and make it through a full article. But for some reason, I cannot seem to put these books down. I can’t remember the last time I remember reading a series of books as much as I have these.

I am dying to see the movie. Honestly, if it’s half as good as the first book, I’ll be blown away. I can’t wait to see it.

What I do have an issue with, though, is the fact that my daughter’s middle school sees this movie as an acceptable field trip.

I do understand when they say, “This movie has brought the childrens’ interest in reading to a whole new level.” That’s fantastic. Yes, I want my daughter to want to read. I can’t say anything against that.

What bothers me though are several other issues:

  • The movie is rated PG-13. I know that it is rated such for violence, and I know that I cannot shield my daughter from everything the world throws at her. But, in our house, it has been a rule that any movie rated PG-13 or above must first be viewed by myself or my husband and be deemed appropriate viewing for any of our children…. including our 14 year old. We at least need to know what they are getting into. These are middle school kids. Not high school. Middle school.
  • The fact that the permission said “Chaperones are not needed on this trip.” That one sentence burns me up. Hundreds of 7th and 8th graders, and they don’t need chaperones? Really? I don’t think so.

So, I sent a note to my daughter’s school with the permission slip that said if I don’t go, she won’t be at school that day. Not because of my desire to go see the movie myself, but because I haven’t had the chance to preview the movie. If I think Ashley needs to leave the theater, I want to be there to allow her a way out – and a way home.

Do I think that she’s going to need to leave the theater? Probably not. I’ve heard really good things about the movie. But, this is a very strong conviction that I have, and if I waiver, what have I taught my daughter? Sin is ok if….

My husband, Ashley, and I all sat down last night and discussed everything. She understands my feelings, and told me that she expected it. She knew she wouldn’t get to see the movie without me seeing it first – that’s just how things have always been. I am so thankful she doesn’t fight me on this. She wouldn’t, though. This is what she knows, and she’s ok with it. I am so blessed to have a daughter that stands on her own convictions and respects the wishes of her parents…. usually. 😉 She is a teenage girl afterall.

My letter went to the school this morning, and by 8:10, I had a text message from Ashley’s teacher. I am more than welcome to come to the theater, I just need to meet them there at the appointed time. I feel much better knowing that I’ll be there and that the school isn’t going to fight me on this. Truth be told, if they hadn’t allowed me to come, I would have kept Ashley home that day and taken her to the theater myself later in the day. But we would have gone together.

What are your thoughts? Did your child go see The Hunger Games for a field trip? Have you seen the movie? Talk to me…

I will edit this post after the movie on Friday and let you know my thoughts. Here’s hoping it’s as intriguing as the book.

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.


  1. 1

    I subscribe to your blog through email, and I read all of your posts, even though I don’t comment all that often. I usually agree with your opinions on things, but not this time…

    I don’t know anything about this movie (or books) other than what I have read on different blogs. Isn’t it about teenagers killing each other? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but if that is what the movie is about, I don’t understand why any school or parent would think this is an acceptable movie for teenagers, let alone young ones. In a day where bullying is a HUGE problem in our schools, I just can’t believe so many people are so crazy (in a good way) over a movie about teens hacking each other up, and I can’t believe a middle school would deem this an acceptable field trip!

    That said, it sounds like you have a very respectful daughter who understands that you set your rules for a reason. I can only hope my kids are that respectful of my rules when they are older.
    LeeAnn recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Throw Bryce From The Train

  2. 2

    I too read all three books in about four days. I’m completely bummed to be on bedrest and unable to go watch the movie. However, I don’t think the movie is something kids need to see. Granted my child is only two, but I would have a very hard time allowing a child to see this movie. The whole movie is based on a cruel violent world where kids kill other kids for entertainment. I feel it would take an extremely mature older teenager to be able to watch something like this. My vote is to keep kids out of the theater on this one.
    Karen W recently posted..More Bug Problems

  3. 3

    Yes, I’ve seen the movie and I’ve read the books. I went to the movie by myself the day it opened. Partly because I was dying to see it, but also because our grandson (who lives with us) wants to see it. He is 9. Will I take him? Yes. The violence is not at all emphasized. There is very little blood and no gory scenes. What is emphasized is the theme of the book series. No, it’s not about teenagers killing each other (although they are forced to do so in the annual Hunger Games). The books are about the loss of liberty, self-determination, and the use of fear by the government to maintain absolute control over the lives of the citizens. There is a strong message in the books and I am glad to hear that schools are considering it a learning opportunity. Too many people are going to look at the surface of the story and miss the whole point(s) being made. In the case of my 9 yo, we’ll be talking about the story ahead of time so that he’ll understand what is happening and be prepared for what he sees. He has a clear understanding of what is real and what is Hollywood, I think that’s very important here. But our preparation will also include what the real message of the story is. He’ll understand that because we talk now about what is happening in terms of our government. He asks questions and he gets it.

  4. 4
    theorycraft says:

    wow, I can’t believe seeing a hit movie counts as a field trip these days. I can see why we’re so low in the world.

  5. 5

    I watched a midnight premiere with my 17 year old daughter and her boyfriend. I thought the movie was good, but the book was better.
    I think that standing up for your convictions and how you parent is commendable. There is violence in the movie but it’s not overdone or gory. The basis of the book isn’t all about teenagers out to kill each other. There’s a plot and a reson behind it.
    After seeing the movie myself, I’d say that children over the age of 13 are okay to watch it. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger.

  6. 6

    One of the 14 year old girls at church talked me, a 30 year-old man, into reading the first book. 4 days later, I was done with all 3. They were fantastic.

    I applaud the way you handled the situation with your daughter’s school. Standards are standards, and I think you taught your daughter a valuable lesson.

    As for Leann – the books aren’t about bullying at all. In fact, the kids that are involved in the games make it very clear that they don’t want anything to do with it. It’s a story about kids being stuck in a militaristic, oppressive society and how they deal with it.
    Brad E. recently posted..Commonly Misused Words/Phrases

  7. 7

    I’m a Hunger games ADDICT! I love it, I have read it multiple times, I saw the movie, I will praise and rave about the book and movie forever!

    That being said, no I don’t think it’s appropriate for younger audiences. A child needs to be old enough to understand the moral behind the stories. They need parents that will discuss it with them. They need to really understand about the right to freedom, liberty, etc before they can really comprehend and the books/movie before more than just “teenagers killing each other”.

    Cindy Brooks nailed it ON THE HEAD!!! “The books are about the loss of liberty, self-determination, and the use of fear by the government to maintain absolute control over the lives of the citizens. ” It’s not ALL about the violence, but merely that’s come about BECAUSE of the loss of those intrinsic freedoms

    This really irritates me when I hear so many people throwing up in arms and trying to get the books banned, saying, it’s all about violence. No, it’s not. It’s about liberty, freedom, inappropriate government control, and a bit of our ridiculous nature to rely too much on media and reality TV shows. It’s rather eye opening when you read the stories and you see parallels in our life.

    I’m quite conservative in what we do and don’t let our kids be exposed to. That being said, my kids WILL be allowed to read these books and watch the movies….WHEN they are older and after we’ve discussed the moral. Probably about 16 is when they will be allowed to. Like I said, it is one where they need to be old enough to understand the moral questions that are posed in the books.

    I stand by you in your decision to be the parent, to have control over what your child sees, to be so involved and concerned with what your child is exposed to! If only more parents could be like you! You have every right to be present in such a situation to ensure that it is appropriate for your child. Why put your child in an environment that would be difficult for her to leave if it was inappropriate for her? You are in the right! I’m glad they are letting you go with her! I don’t think it’s appropriate as a school field trip. It’s far too much of a blanket “this is ok” when many parents may not be ok with it. And then what? All those kids would be left out. What is the purpose behind school field trips? To learn and enjoy and have ALL the students involved, I believe.

    As for the movie itself, no, it’s not as good as the books…a movie is never as good as the book. But it was still quite amazing. Woody Harrelson was rather good as Haymitch. Not what I pictured him being like, but I still really enjoyed him. The violence was actually quite minimalized in the movie. And really it was TONS better than the other “teen books” turned movie…aka..Twilight. (mind you I loved those books, but HATED the movies).

    I can’t wait to hear your reaction after you see the movie!

  8. 8

    It’s terrific that your daughter respects the groundrules you’ve set, and understands your reasoning. I also think it’s perfect that you went along to give her an exit if it were inappropriate.

    Too bad the teacher didn’t have a reading/discussion beforehand, or better yet, waited until the movie came out on DVD and just showed sections of it in class, to be discussed.

    (here on the 4/23 Alexa hop)
    Lara N. at Twice Blessed Life recently posted..#GutzyGear up for grabs! Review/Giveaway!!


  1. […] other day, I mentioned that my daughter’s 8th grade class would be going on a field trip to see The Hunger Games. The field trip was this morning, and I had promised to update the original post with my thoughts […]

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