The most anticipated movie of the year premieres this weekend and it looks like most of Murfreesboro has read the book first.
Hunger Games-inspired props, designed by MTSU graduate and freelance videographer Jonathan Parris, will be on display at Linebaugh Library during a party for the movie's premier.
Based on the worldwide bestseller, The Hunger Games movie hits theaters Friday and in anticipation of its release, Read To Succeed chose the young adult novel as the 2012 One Book.
And, according to Amazon.com, the book has been sweeping through Murfreesboro like wildfire.
The city is 15th on the national list for sales – both print and electronic – of the book.
“We’ve had so much great involvement, community support and discussion of this book for several months,” said Kory Wells, One Book co-chair. “What we thought was a fantastic response was confirmed by Amazon.com’s top 20 list of cities most obsessed with the books.”
One Book co-chair Laura Beth Jackson said the book was chosen for Rutherford County’s community read in part because of the up-coming film and the acclaim it has garnered since it was published.
“The Hunger Games speaks in a refreshingly original voice for our time,” Jackson said. “While being a wonderful fantasy novel, it also addresses very relevant issues of poverty, injustice, family relationships, and culture, and challenges us to examine what we believe and value.”
One Book, an annual reading challenge is a collaborative project of Read To Succeed, Barnes & Noble, Linebaugh Library System, and MTSU, created to challenge readers in Rutherford County to join in reading the same book.
The objectives of One Book are to encourage reading among adults, to demonstrate to children the importance of reading, to unify the community through a shared experience and to highlight an issue of importance by means of a book’s theme or subject matter.
The Hunger Games is unique to One Book’s five-year history, Mitchell said, because it also appeals to and wide range of ages and both genders. The book, first in a trilogy, was on the New York Time’s bestseller list for more than two years.
“The Hunger Games grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let you go,” Read To Succeed Executive Director Lisa Mitchell said. “It appeals to teens and adults and provides a great opportunity for families to discuss all the issues raised.”
If you’re one of the few who hasn’t read the book yet, The Hunger Games is set in a not-so-distant future where reality has taken a turn for the worse and reality TV has taken a turn for the deadly.
The United States has collapsed; in its place, the country of Panem is divided into the Capitol and 12 oppressed districts.
Each year, a boy and girl from each district are selected by lottery to go to the Capitol and participate in The Hunger Games as a reminder of the Capitol’s control. The televised games are required viewing throughout the country as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors in a fight to the death.
In District 12, formerly Appalachia, main character Katniss volunteers to compete when her younger sister’s name is called. As she and her male counterpart, Peeta, are whisked to the Capitol, they soon realize how difficult it will be, whether as friends or foes, to fight for their lives and their humanity.
The book’s overall themes and ease of reading have made it a world-wide, and now county-wide, bestseller, which in turn is the overall goal of One Book.
To encourage even more readers to pick The Hunger Games up Read To Succeed is holding a variety of events in the run-up to the movie premier.
On Thursday from 7-9 p.m., Read To Succeed will hold a Hunger Games party at Linebaugh Library.
Guests needs to bring a can of food for Greenhouse Ministries for admittance to the party.
The more cans you bring, the more chances you have to win a door prize.
“The Hunger Games has been a great conversation starter for readers of all ages this year,” said Laura Beth Payne, One Book co-chair. “Now the movie is just one more way to engage our community in discussions about ideas. We’re thrilled to partner with local theaters to celebrate The Hunger Games as well as raise awareness about meeting needs in Rutherford County through Greenhouse Ministries and the mission of Read To Succeed.”
The party will feature a Hunger Games costume contest, a trivia contest, and food, along with providing canned food for Greenhouse Ministries.
And on Saturday, Read To Succeed is teaming up with Premiere 6 Theater in Murfreesboro to collect more food for Greenhouse.
At 10 a.m., Premiere 6 will have an exclusive showing of the movie for people who bring a can of food for Greenhouse (in addition to the lowest ticket price). At 2 p.m., bringing a can of food for Greenhouse will also secure you the lowest ticket price to The Hunger Games.
For more information about One Book or Read To Succeed, visit readtosucceed.org.