Reviews

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 7 Up-In this final volume in the saga, Katniss has been rescued by the resistance only to learn that her home has been destroyed and that her friend Peeta has been captured. In District 13 she accepts the role of Mockingjay, the rebellion's symbol, but is she still a pawn in a larger game? Audio version available from Scholastic Audio. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

This concluding volume in Collins's Hunger Games trilogy accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level. At the end of Catching Fire, Katniss had been dramatically rescued from the Quarter Quell games; her fellow tribute, Peeta, has presumably been taken prisoner by the Capitol. Now the rebels in District 13 want Katniss (who again narrates) to be the face of the revolution, a propaganda role she's reluctant to play. One of Collins's many achievements is skillfully showing how effective such a poster girl can be, with a scene in which Katniss visits the wounded, cameras rolling to capture (and retransmit) her genuine outrage at the way in which war victimizes even the noncombatants. Beyond the sharp social commentary and the nifty world building, there's a plot that doesn't quit: nearly every chapter ends in a reversal-of-fortune cliffhanger. Readers get to know characters better, including Katniss's sister and mother, and Plutarch Heavensbee, former Head Gamemaker, now rebel filmmaker, directing the circus he hopes will bring down the government, a coup possible precisely because the Capitol's residents are too pampered to mount a defense. "In return for full bellies and entertainment," he tells Katniss, explaining the Latin phrase panem et circenses, "people had given up their political responsibilities and therefore their power." Finally, there is the romantic intrigue involving Katniss, Peeta and Gale, which comes to a resolution that, while it will break some hearts, feels right. In short, there's something here for nearly every reader, all of it completely engrossing. Ages 12-up (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In its first week of publication, this third book in Collins's "Hunger" trilogy rocketed to the top of the best-seller lists, proving that teen-reading adults are interested in something other than vampires and boy wizards. For the uninitiated, The Hunger Games (2008), which began the series, posited a world where the United States is no more and a cruel capitol rules over 12 districts that must each offer an annual tribute of two children for a televised fight-to-the-death. In this final volume, a rebel movement goes to war against the capitol. The costs are high, causing the reader to question the moral rightness of any war, even one against a ruler as evil as President Snow, whose breath smells of "blood and roses." For the past week, Mockingjay has been the topic of backroom discussion in my libraries as friends and coworkers debate its shocking conclusion.-Angelina Benedetti, "35 Going on 13," BookSmack! 9/16/10 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 7 Up-Following her subversive second victory in the Games, this one composed of winners from past years, Katniss has been adopted by rebel factions as their symbol for freedom and becomes the rallying point for the districts in a desperate bid to take down the Capitol and remove President Snow from power. But being the Mockingjay comes with a price as Katniss must come to terms with how much of her own humanity and sanity she can willingly sacrifice for the cause, her friends, and her family. Collins is absolutely ruthless in her depictions of war in all its cruelty, violence, and loss, leaving readers, in turn, repulsed, shocked, grieving and, finally, hopeful for the characters they've grown to empathize with and love. Mockingjay is a fitting end of the series that began with The Hunger Games (2008) and Catching Fire (2009) and will have the same lasting resonance as William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Stephen King's The Stand. However, the book is not a stand-alone; readers do need to be familiar with the first two titles in order to appreciate the events and characters in this one.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* The highly anticipated conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy does not disappoint. If anything, it may give readers more than they bargained for: in action, in love, and in grief. When the book opens, Katniss has survived her ordeal at the Quarter Quell, and she and her family are safe in District 13. Gale is there as well, but Peeta is being held at the Capitol as President Snow's very special prisoner. Events move quickly, but realization unfolds slowly as Katniss learns that she has been a pawn in more ways than she ever supposed and that her role as the face of the revolution is one with unanticipated consequences, including a climbing death toll for which she holds herself personally responsible. Collins does several things brilliantly, not the least of which is to provide heart-stopping chapter endings that turn events on their heads and then twist them once more. But more ambitious is the way she brings readers to questions and conclusions about war throughout the story. There's nothing didactic here, and the rush of the narrative sometimes obscures what message there is. Yet readers will instinctively understand what Katniss knows in her soul, that war mixes all the slogans and justifications, the deceptions and plans, the causes and ideals into an unsavory stew whose taste brings madness. That there is still a human spirit yearning for good is the book's primrose of hope.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist