-Mockingjay, anticipated by teens, on way.
And we mean early, 12:01 a.m., for trilogy finale
If more than the usual number of teens seem sleepy next Tuesday, blame (or credit) novelist Suzanne Collins.
Mockingjay (Scholastic, $17.99), the last in Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy for teens, will be released at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, triggering scores of midnight parties at bookstores.
Not since Harry Potter and Twlight has a novel been expected to keep so many young readers (and some adults) up all night. Collins’ cliffhanging series ( The Hun
and Catching Fire were the first two books), set in a future dictatorship that forces teenagers to fight to the death on TV, is the most popular example of a boom in dystopian novels, in which teens struggle to survive in nightmarish worlds.
Collins’ popularity “is huge,” says Shari Conradson, a teacher in Sebastopol, Calif. She’s often asked by students for “other books like The Hunger Games.”
Among her r ecommendations: James Dashner’s Maze Runner series, in which teens are stripped of memories, and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series, in which all teens have surgery to meet a universal standard of beauty. What’s the appeal? Teens “recognize the issues in these books without having to face them dead-on,” Conradson says. “In many of them, teen characters are the heroes and make the world a better place.”
Kayley Hyde, 18, of Edmonds, Wash., who won a Hunger Games essay contest last year and lunch with Collins, says she loves “reading about what people think our country or our world could become.”
Collins, who’ll attend her first midnight release party at New York’s Books of Wonder, hopes to keep Mockingjay’s plot a secret until Tuesday.
She hopes kids where school has started won’t stay home to read her book: “At the risk of sounding ungrateful, please go to school. So many kids in the world never get a chance to. That being said, if you wanted to stay up late reading, I wouldn’t be the one taking the flashlight away from you.”
Collins: Don’t let the book interfere with school, the author urges her teen fans. ger Games