HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins, is a 2008 young adult novel (quote/unquote) that became a publishing sensation, spawning two sequels and two hit films with a third in the wings, wooing readers and watchers from every walk of life with its mythic tale of Katniss Everdeen, the Girl On Fire, a poor girl who hunts squirrels to feed her family in a brutal dystopia (a future gone wrong, it seems, or perhaps a parallel universe that overlaps with our own in all the wrong places). She scrapes and survives with a traumatized mother and a fragile sister in one of twelve districts, where the traumatized losers in a massive civil war surrender their young to brutal gladiatorial games that demoralize and dehumanize the masses for the viewing and betting pleasure of the decadent ruling class that won the war some 75 years ago. Katniss is a heroine for the ages, volunteering for the Games to spare her sister, going from the impoverished but somehow innocent life she knew to a grooming process that mirrors the demands and dynamics of celebrity culture, until at last she fights for her life against twenty-three children who must also kill or die, including Peeta, a boy from her district who has loved her for most of his life. This is a dark book with a ferocious heart, moments of poetry, and an adult intensity that has obviously seized the imagination of more than one generation. Though many have had their say about this fierce and fascinating book, we here at Book Circle Online thought we’d take a swim in it and report our findings.