Audio Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Like most of you, I've already read The Hunger Games series. Several times. In fact, I'm gearing up (with my new student teacher) to read it again--this time for an extremely excited group of juniors. To get ready, I often prepare myself to teach books I've already taught by listening to the audio version. And, is having a sale on this book (and others that are firsts in series--sale ends 2/8). It was meant to be. Kismet.

I do love this story, as evidenced by my choice to teach it for three years and to read the entire series. I've know of the audio version for some time, but never purchased it because I do not love the voice of the reader. Her name is Carolyn McCormick and I have nothing against her personally. I'm sure that her voice would be great for any number of characters, but it just doesn't fit for Katniss. Or Haymitch. Or Peeta. She's okay for Rue, though, which was surprising to me.

That said, once the narrative got going, I didn't notice anymore. So, I either got used to Ms. McCormick's reading style and voice or I just got so caught up in the story that my brain no longer cared. There is one particular part that I really enjoyed, and this was unexpected. It's something that I often have trouble with when I read to myself alone (or in front of my students). It's music.

I am not a great singer. I am horribly bad. People cringe. So, when there's music or a song in a book, I don't know how to perform that part without ruining the entire scene. When Katniss sings to Rue her mournful dirge, I read it like a poem to my students. Or I ask for a volunteer to sing. But it always takes away from the moment. In this audio version, Ms. McCormick does a very nice job of singing and keeping the tone of the scene. I thank her for this and actually wrote down the time in the reading so that I can play it for students. It's worth the $5 I paid for this recording!

Overall, I wouldn't urge you to rush out and buy this reading, but it is not bad. It's not even kinda bad. I loved listening to this story while doing laundry and dishes and cooking dinner. It was great to be immersed in this story once more. Can't get enough of the Girl on Fire!

Reader: Carolyn McCormick
Length: 11 hrs 10 minutes

**This audio book counts toward my participation in the 2011 Audio Book Challenge from Teresa's Reading Corner and Whisper Stories in My Ear Audio Book Challenge**