Katniss Everdeen operates in survival mode on a daily basis. How to Survive The Hunger Games explores how Katniss's childhood experience, combined with her survival instinct, makes her the ultimate opponent in The Hunger Games.
How to Survive The Hunger Games is a chapter taken straight from The Hunger Games Companion, the ultimate companion guide to the blockbuster Hunger Games trilogy--this book is not authorized by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic Press or anyone involved in the Hunger Games movie.
Also included in this eBook is a sneak 80-page preview of THE HUNT, an all-new novel that today's hottest authors are raving about!
THE HUNT is coming May 2012.
EARLY PRAISE FOR THE HUNT
"One of the most brilliant, original books I've read in a very long time. Andrew Fukuda has created a vision of the world both terrifying and fascinating. This is the kind of book you'll want to stay up all night to finish!" --Richelle Mead, #1 bestselling author of the Vampire Academy Series
"With razor-sharp prose, a genius plot, and a searing pace that will have you ripping through the pages, Fukuda creates a dark and savage post-apocalyptic world where vampires are evil, humans are nearly extinct and love manages to bloom despite all the odds stacked against it. An exceptional novel--I can't wait for the sequel!" --Alyson No�l, #1 bestselling author of the Immortals Series
"Chilling, inventive, and utterly unputdownable, The Hunt masterfully dances between horror and dystopian. Readers, proceed...if you
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St. Martin's Griffin
March 06, 2012
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Excerpt from How to Survive The Hunger Games by Lois H. Gresh
HOW TO SURVIVE THE HUNGER GAMES (Begin Reading)
From the beginning of The Hunger Games series, we know that Katniss Everdeen operates in survival mode on a daily basis. Her survival instincts and strategies are well honed from many years of practice. Her need to survive against all odds is the basis of the entire trilogy, and author Suzanne Collins roots this idea firmly in our minds right away. We know the series will be fraught with horror, action, adventure, tragedy, misery, and strife.
The first few pages of The Hunger Games build Katniss as a girl we like: She's kind; she loves her mother and sister. However, these opening pages also show another side of Katniss's life: We're told that her mother doesn't look quite as "beaten-down" when she's asleep, and we're told that Katniss tried to drown her sister's cat, Buttercup, when it was just a kitten. We know immediately that there's a dark side to the life of our kind girl.
Suzanne Collins jacks up the hints of upcoming horror by page four, as the tone mingles the lightness of youth and kindness with the darkness of impending trouble that we sense is beyond anything with which we might be familiar. Here, the author tells us that Katniss feeds entrails to Buttercup, that she hunts for the family's food; that today, she must once again face the reaping.
Survival instincts and strategies will be paramount to Katniss, this is very clear when we learn that she lives in District 12, the Seam, where downtrodden coal miners can barely feed their families, where even the Meadow is "scruffy," where barbed wire fences surround everyone, and usually the fences are electrified.
This is a place that needs basics such as electricity, food, work, and modern conveniences. We get the feeling that Katniss is living in medieval times, yet we're also distinctly aware that these are not medieval times at all; rather, people are executed by Peacekeepers for basically any reason at all. Everyone's starving all the time, even the people who govern.
Over the course of all three novels--The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay--Katniss uses almost every survival technique known to mankind. Hers is a dystopian post-apocalyptic society, where children are selected by lottery tickets to compete to the death in an arena reminiscent of the ancient Roman Colosseum. They battle in front of the entire population of the world as they know it; they battle on reality television. The series is like a gore-filled video game in which Katniss has no choice but to kill in hopes of saving her own skin. While battling in the arenas of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, she receives "gifts" and ponies up health points, just as she would as the heroine of a video game. But unlike a video game, Katniss suffers real losses: her friends, her sister, her own sanity are all on the line. The physical suffering is far more acute than in any video game. The emotional pain is simply unprecedented for video games, and for this reason, quality fiction still affects us in ways that video games do not.
Suzanne Collins has been widely quoted as stating that one of her main inspirations for the series came from her father's experiences fighting in Vietnam. It's clear that the author knows a lot about combat and survival techniques in early and primitive societies, as well.
Katniss has frequent nightmares, which are common in post-traumatic stress syndrome. She trains constantly for battle. She wears camouflage. She knows how to find and conserve water, food, weapons, and medical supplies. She knows how to barter for what she wants and needs. She knows how to find shelter so she can sleep without being killed. These are all aspects of real survival strategies.
And if all else fails, she's even equipped with poison berries so she can commit suicide. Not exactly a way to survive, but suicide is often used in espionage and warfare to protect the overall group.
Let's start with water, a critical resource for anyone lost in the wilds or thrust into a combat arena. Katniss clearly knows how to squeeze water from her environment, and when she needs tips, Haymitch is there to help her. His last advice to her before she first heads into the arena is to "find a source of water" (The Hunger Games, 139).
Now let's look at real techniques for obtaining water where there is none and compare what Katniss does to how it's actually done.
Obviously, you can wear camouflage, create makeshift weapons, hide behind trees, rocks, in caves, and so forth. You can improvise a lot when you're in the wild, but you can't improvise water. If you have a chemistry lab, you might be able to do it, but in the wild, you have to know how to find and leech water from all sort of environments.
Most of us depend on power grids and water that's piped into our homes, restaurants, offices, malls, and airports. If the grid goes down, the water towers are depleted very quickly, and before you know it, people must seek water from natural sources.
Similarly, if using a well, which many people still do, if it runs dry or becomes polluted or otherwise unsuitable, natural sources must be found. Quickly.
We do have lakes, ponds, and rivers. We can collect rainwater. But how do we purify the water so we don't get sick? Can it be done in the wild?
Sure it can.