Is the Hunger Games trilogy books appropriate for an almost 10 year old?

Renee - posted on 05/30/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )




My son will be 10 in August, he is going into 5th grade and is a smart and pretty mature kid. An advanced reading group in his elementary school was reading the Hunger Games and he missed joining the group and really wants to read the books. I bought them and read them myself not knowing what they were about, but knowing there was a movie out, so they must be pretty good right? They are good books, but I am concerned they are a bit much for a 10 year old. I explained the plot to my husband (when I was only a few chapters in) and he thought it sounded horrible for a kid to read and couldn't believe they were reading it at school. Any out there who has read the books have any input? My son loves reading about wars and military books and stuff along those lines. he's always been very much into war history and anything military, so there is a similarity in the types of books he reads now, but don't have quite the disturbing nature of teenagers forced to kill each other for a game, said like that it sounds horrible, but in the end you realize the main character is trying to figure out how to put an end to the "games" and not let the crazy people who invented them stay in control of everyone.


Elfrieda - posted on 05/30/2012




I'm not sure. I would have read it as a young kid, but I read a lot of things that maybe I should have waited a little longer for. I just read the first one (I liked it!) and it's violent. And scary. I was a bit afraid to see the movie, tell you the truth, but the movie is not nearly as scary as the book. (and shortens all the mopey teenage love parts, which is a relief)

I don't think I'd allow it, but maybe if you talked with him about how to skim so that you can skip bad parts while still knowing what's going on, and kept an open dialogue about it, it would be okay. It makes it more difficult now that a bunch of his friends have read it.

I only have a toddler, these decisions are still in the future for me. Good luck in deciding!


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Anna - posted on 06/02/2012




I think 10 is a bit young to read them. That amount of violence is just way to much for a child that young to know about. Yes, it is fiction and most likely would never happen, but you get those thoughts into a young mind and they just take off. There's already so much death on TV that most kids don't understand death is real and very painful. These books do show how real those deaths are and it's a very emotional series. I really don't think any child's mind is ready for those emotions. If anything, let him see the movie. They toned it way down from the book!

Bonnie - posted on 06/01/2012




My 10-yr-old grandson saw it and was fine. They were careful not to be TOO graphic with the violence, but it is a very violent movie against children. So, if you're child is sensitive to that kind of thing I'd say wait.

Liz - posted on 05/31/2012




The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is, I think, worse in many respects and yet is frequently read by 10 to 12 year olds as a 'set book' for English Literature class.

I would say, having read the Hunger Games trilogy myself, that there are many mature themes but that they are handled in ways appropriate for a mature child to deal with.

What age a child needs to be to be 'mature' really depends on the individual child and I do not know your son as you do. I suspect that he would be perfectly able to cope with it at his age though, provided that you sit down with him and discuss the books at regular intervals. Before he starts, prepare him for the fact that some of the things in the story are unpleasant and that he may have strong feelings, such as anger, fear, confusion and grief. Let him know that he can discuss the books and the feelings they may engender with you at any time and this is one thing that adults do in order to work through things that they find difficult.

Should he, according to your judgement, then seem to be overly stressed by the subject matter, you can gently suggest that he continue the series when a little older.

Michelle - posted on 05/30/2012




My son is in grade 5 and he is just starting to read the Hunger games he had to wait a long time to check it out of the school library because so many other kids in his grade were reading it as well. I have read them and I loved the series, they are amazing books my son and I talked about the fact that they are fiction and not real so that he understands before he picks one up to read it that what he is reading would never happen.

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I loved the series but it honestly depends on your child. I'm pretty hard boiled but I cried during that book. The violence is NOT romanticized, woounds hurt, people make bad choices and injuries sometimes can't be fixed.

They're also a terrifid indictment of reality tv, especially the viewers.

If he's upset by acts of real violence, thenI'd say wait a bit.

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