For all you Hunger Games fans, the wait is almost over! Mockingjay, Part I is slated to appear in theaters on November 21st. For the rest of you who didn’t read any of the books, there is still time (did you notice the “Part I” in the title?).
As a library media specialist in a large high school, I often warn my students about the big, fat cliffhanger at the end of Catching Fire and recommend that they put Mockingjay on reserve or check the book out when they have about five chapters left. Some refused to heed my advice and rushed in the next morning in search of the last book, only to leave disappointed that all the copies were checked out. Instead of saying, “I told you so.” I opted for the less antagonistic, “I tried to warn you.”
We librarians have been advocates for reading the book before watching the movie to our readers since . . . well, I suppose since the first known film adapted from a book (The Awakening of Rip based on Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle) was released in September 1896.
Probably the most satisfying example supporting the “read the book first” campaign occurred this past New Year’s Eve, when my sister, my husband, and my son all went to the theater to see Catching Fire. Although my son had read The Hunger Games, he never got around to reading the next two in the series. My husband, along with over half the movie theater, had not read any of them. When the movie ended, the theater audience – save for a few of us who expected the sudden ending – shouted angrily at the screen, now scrolling through the movie credits. Meanwhile, my sister and I – as if on cue – leaned forward, grinned at each other, and said simultaneously, “Guess you should’ve read the books!”