Tag Archives: “The Hunger Games

Staples Books Its Own March Madness

Last year, as Villanova battled its way through March Madness to the NCAA basketball championship, the Staples High School English department conducted its own bracket.

To Kill a Mockingbird beat out fellow Final 4 contenders Pride and Prejudice, The Diary of Anne Frank and 1984 to win the first-ever Favorite Book Ever tournament.

Mary Katherine Hocking

‘Nova did not repeat as 2019 champs. Nor did Harper Lee’s classic novel.

In the case of the Wildcats, they weren’t good enough. But for the books, they changed the rules.

This year’s contest — organized by teachers Mary Katherine Hocking and Rebecca Marsick, with help from Tausha Bridgeforth and the Staples library staff — was for Best Book to Movie Adaptation.

Thirty-two contenders were chosen. Voting was done online. Large bracket posters near the English department and library kept interest high.

As always, there were surprises. Some classic book/film combinations — like The Godfather — fell early. Others that Hocking expected to be less popular (Twilight, Little Women) battled hard.

The field ranged far and wide, from Romeo and Juliet and Gone With the Wind to Lord of the Flies and Frankenstein.

Hocking’s email updates to students and staff were fun to read. Before the final — after Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone crushed The Hunger Games, and The Princess Bride edged The Help — she wrote: “The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Westley versus Weasley, Vizzini versus Voldemort, Humperdinck versus Hermione.”

We’ll let Hocking announce the winner.

She wrote:

The Princess Bride has taken a rogue bludger to the head, losing to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. With a final score of 94-49, this year’s House Cup, Quidditch World Cup, Triwizard Cup all go to Harry Potter and Queen JK.

Remember, one can never have enough socks, and one can never have enough books to fill the time.  Please check out any or all of these books from your local library as we head into spring break.

She and Marsick are already planning next year’s contest.

Wahoo!

The Library’s Post-Apocalyptic Moment

If you’re not a teenager, you may not have heard of The Hunger Games.

But Jaina Lewis and Bill Derry have. And that’s good news for Westport’s youth.

Jaina (the Westport Library‘s young teen librarian) and Bill (the much-0lder but quite savvy “assistant director for innovation and user experience”) are collaborating on a unique, and very cool, event — for 12- to 18-year-olds only.

On Friday, March 9 (7:30-10 p.m.), the 74th Annual Hunger Games take place in the stacks.

No, you did not miss the first 73.  The 74th Games are where The Hunger Games — the 1st novel in a young adult trilogy by Ridgefield author Suzanne Collins — begins.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem — the former North America — the dark story portrays 12 districts, all slaves to the capital, where citizens are kept hungry and isolated.

In the Hunger Games, 2 “tributes” — 1 boy and 1 girl from each district — compete in a televised fight to the death in a dangerous arena. Eventually, only 1 remains.

The books — translated into 26 languages — are a worldwide phenomenon. A movie of the same name will be released on March 23.

Seizing on the intense interest — and, in Bill’s words, “showing an experiential side of the library, supporting reading and learning, by really moving inside of it” — Westport’s Hunger Games are set to begin.

The publicity is as stark as Collins’ Games themselves. “Food rations will be given,” the flyer says. “Only Tributes in grades 6-12 are eligible to attend. Parents will not be in attendance: parents must entrust their children to the Capitol.”

Tributes can earn prizes for themselves and their District by training in survival skills, testing their Hunger Games trivia, and competing in a Tribute costume contest (it’s important to look great before the battles).

Plenty of planning has gone into the event. Many high school and middle school students have helped with sets and lighting. Local vendors have donated food. Two bands — Disabled Time and Amplitude — will play.

The library’s Hunger Games are attracting a wide range of participants, Bill says. Some were avid readers of the trilogy; others found out about it from friends.

A gladiatorial battle to the death in a post-apocalyptic world. Costumes, food, music — all in the library stacks.

What’s not to like?

(Registration costs $18, and ends Tuesday, March 6. Click here to register. For more information, email jlewis@westportlibrary.org)