The Hunger Games is the scorchin' hot title at my school right now. Our library's copies are always checked out with quite the waiting list, and those at our book fair sold out by the second day.
One of my students devoured it; he'd come to class, slide into his seat, and read frantically until the bell rang, signaling the end of passing period. Walking through the hallways, his face deep in its pages, a friend walked next to him to help steer. At lunch, he gobbled his food before slipping his bookmark out from between the pages and diving back in (he didn't want to read while eating because he feared dripping ketchup on its pages). Any time he had a free moment, he read.
When he finished, I asked him if I should track down a copy and read it.
He looked at me, clearly stunned. "You haven't read it?"
"Not yet - it's always checked out and I don't want to take a copy away from student availability."
"You HAVE to read it. It's like the best book I've ever read. Ever. You HAVE TO."
I smiled. "Wanna loan me yours?"
His face lit up. "I'll bring it tomorrow." And he did.
For the first week that he'd loaned it to me, I had no time. I was sick and in a grading crunch, and keeping up with that was about all I could handle. He'd check in every day, and every day I'd have to admit that no, I hadn't started it yet. And every day, he'd shake his head and tell me I didn't know what I was missing. And I'd say I'd start it soon. Then I just kind of forgot about the whole thing.
Yesterday I remembered. It had been buried under a pile of papers on my desk, a pile I finally sorted through. So I popped it in my purse to take home this weekend.
I started it this morning. And finished it this morning. And then scampered over to my computer to place a public library hold on Catching Fire (though I think I'm going to have to hit my local independent bookstore tomorrow to buy a copy - I'm number 45 on the hold list of 34 holdable copies and I just can't wait that long). Hot DAMN, that is a compelling read.
I'm late to the HG bandwagon, but I'm firmly on now. Thank you, Suzanne Collins, and thank you to my 8th grade reader who showed me the light.