Monthly Archives: May 2015

How does this book make you feel?

P1410861How does The Hunger Games make you feel? That was today’s question in A Book for Breakfast.

Rabiya felt it was addictive as a story, and that sometimes all the action made her confused. Confusion was also mentioned by other people, along with being nervous about P1410867what might happen to the characters, for whom Beth mentioned caring in a heartfelt way.

Ellis, Katy, Cameron and Natalie talked about worry, anxiety and tension, along with anticipation as to what will happen next. Ellis also said sometimes the story was sad.

So… why do we enjoy a story that can make us feel so many emotions – not all of which are happy or positive?

The group said the P1410874emotion made the book gripping, more realistic, and more dramatic. It is a book that contains danger and death – it isn’t all about happy themes.

And then people noticed that even a story like The Gruffalo isn’t all about happy themes either. It has danger and risk in it. In another young children’s book, The Rainbow Fish, someone said the fish has to solve a problem by giving away his scales. In Peppa Pig there is a problem when Peppa washes Daddy Pig’s white sports shirt and turns it pink. So in any story, it seems, there has to be some tension that the author suggests, and then explores.

P1410864Finally, we read some of chapter 13 and talked about How the author makes us feel tense, sad, anxious, excited and so on, during the course of a single page of the book. Everyone had great answers:

  • There is a short sentence, only a single word, which is very dramatic (‘Rue.’).
  • The questions Katniss asks herself raise the tension (‘How long has she been here?’).
  • By ending the chapter on a cliffhanger – we don’t know whether Rue is there to kill her.
  • Because we don’t know what is going to happen next.

Join us again next time to see what else we find out.


Word detectives

P1410591In today’s session we spent time reading chapter 11. At this point in the book, after the preparation and training of the Tributes, the 74th Hunger Games begins. Katniss has to start fighting for her life.

Some good vocabulary came up as we were reading and one in particular caught our eye: rejuvenating. The group knew that re P1410604indicates something repeating or happening again. But what about ‘juvenate’? Beth quite rightly said that it reminded her of juvenile which she knew was to do with being young. So we worked out that rejuvenating must be to do with feeling young again.

We tried the same word detective skills on unfortunate taking it apart into un – not, or P1410610the opposite of, and fortunate or lucky.

P1410626If you spot any other unfamiliar words with several parts, use your detective skills and let us know how you worked out what they mean! Here are some you might like to try:






Could the Hunger Games happen in England today?

Could the Hunger Games happen in England today? That was the great question Cameron asked in today’s Book for Breakfast meeting. To help us build up a good discussion, each group member had four Lego bricks, P1410459and added one to the tower when they made a point.

Beth said she thought the Hunger Games could only happen in England if there were a rebellion, which the Capitol (or London) then had to put down, as happened in the book. She didn’t think that was very likely at the moment. Natalie commented that if there were a famine or drought, that could trigger a war or a rebellion. Katy said she had seen a debate on television about the NHS, saying that some politicians wanted to privatise the health service and take away free access. People might get angry because society would be more unequal.P1410473

Natalie started a new idea that the Olympics is a bit like the Hunger Games, with people competing with one another and the games appearing on television. Katy felt people joined in the Olympics because they wanted to participate rather than to fight or win. Ellis commented that boxing is a sport that is on television and involves violence, a bit like the Hunger Games. Cameron added that wrestling is another such sport – although Beth said that wrestling is usually staged.P1410478

We considered whether it should be allowed that a dangerous sport like boxing appears on television. Cameron said if it were your relative in the fight, you would want to be able to see it and so it should be allowed. Ellis and Beth agreed but Katy pointed out that someone could be badly hurt.

We will be able to continue these debates in our sessions and using the blog. The idea is that we:P1410491

  • respond and add interesting ideas to the discussion
  • build on a point made by another person
  • don’t worry about winning or losing an argument – it’s much more to do with using ideas, and evidence from the book
  • use joining language like ‘on the other hand’, ‘from another perspective’ or ‘in addition’.

So, are there any other reasons why the Hunger Games could or couldn’t happen in England today? Add your thoughts!