For those who don't know, The Hunger Games takes place in the unknown future and is about Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl. Katniss lives with her widowed mother and her younger sister somewhere in North America. The land is divided into Districts, with the capital of all the Districts being the city of Panem. Katniss and her family live in District 12, where the primary work is coal-mining. Katniss, and her friend Gale, hunt to help provide for their families. Once a year, a "reaping" occurs in each of the twelve districts. A reaping is where a boy and a girl are chosen for the annual Hunger Games. When the reaping takes place in District 12, Katniss' younger sister, Prim, is chosen. Katniss steps up to volunteer to go in Prim's place. There is only one winner of the Hunger Games (out of the 24 children chosen), resulting in the death of the others. The Hunger Games are watched and presented on TV to the Districts as a sort of reality show.
From one review that I saw on the book, I learned the following:
"Suzanne Collins notes that the roots of her book date back to an early fascination with the myth of Theseus, when as punishment for past deeds, Athens had to send seven maidens and seven young men to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur. The message, she said, was clear to her even as a child: 'Mess with us and we'll do something worse than kill you. We'll kill your children.'"
I know, I know...it sounds awful...believe me, I resisted as long as I could, but I am so glad that I read the books. They were really that good! My daughter knows of that which she speaks!