90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, March 22, 2012

High School Hosts Its Own Hunger Games

Bristol Eastern High School librarian Janet Kenney(right), dressed as the Hunger Games character, Effie Trinkett, as she presented eleventh grader, Chantel, with roses for winning the school's Hunger Games reenactment. (Brisol Eastern High School)

Bristol Eastern High School librarian Janet Kenney (right), dressed as the Hunger Games character, Effie Trinkett, as she presented eleventh grader, Chantel, with roses for winning the school's Hunger Games reenactment. (Bristol Eastern High School)

Pink hair – check. Outrageous clothes – check. Fight to the death match – not so much.

Students at Bristrol Eastern High School in Bristol, Conn. are ardent Hunger Games fans, but their recent reenactment of the popular novels by Suzanne Collins stopped short of physical violence.

School librarian Janet Kenney came up with the idea for the school to host its own Hunger Games to celebrate the books, in anticipation of the film debut this week.

In the books, heroine Katniss Everdeen becomes one of 24 tributes forced to take part in a fight to the death reality TV match.  At Bristol Eastern High School, Kenney drew the “tributes” from a pool of student volunteers. She even dressed up as Effie Trinket, the many-hued representative of the repressive Capitol, to add some flare to the event.

Kenney said the students faced physical, mental and artistic challenges, and they tried to stay true to several plot points (without the violence).

“We had a cornucopia filled with backpacks with random supplies,” Kenney told Here & Now’s Robin Young. The students were then challenged to build their own sling shots and they practiced shooting at a picture of the book’s villian, President Snow.

Kenney said she thinks the books hook so many readers because of the personal connections they make, not because of the violence.

“It’s more about the emotions of Katniss and the feelings she has about her family,” Kenney said. “I think everyone can relate to that.”

The winner was an 11th grader named Chantel. She received a dozen roses, a $25 gift card to the movies and the admiration of her fellow students.

But Kenney said the most rewarding part was getting kids excited about books.

“They got a real comraderie in sharing a book the way they normally share about movies or music or the latest YouTube video,” Kenney said. “They’re all sharing and united over a book. And that to me, as a librarian, is fabulous.”

Guest:

  • Janet Kenney, librarian at Bristol Eastern High School in Bristol, Connecticut

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 19 7 Comments

New Film Revisits The Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse Case

The Penn State assistant football coach will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, but that's not the end of the story.

November 19 194 Comments

Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?

Edward Baptist argues in his new book that slavery was integral to establishing the America as a world economic power.

November 18 3 Comments

Outspoken Olympic Runner Nick Symmonds Pens Memoir

The track star has won his share of races, but he often gets as much attention for what he does off the track as what he does on it.

November 18 37 Comments

Texting And Driving: Are We Powerless To Change Our Ways?

A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Matt Richtel chronicles the groundbreaking case of Reggie Shaw.