Since the release of The Hunger Games movie, I’ve seen a lot of controversial conversations happening online. People love it. People hate it. People are disturbed by the very idea of having children see such a movie, or adults for that matter. Children forced to kill each other? No way.
Except I WANT my kids to read the books AND see the movie. I WANT them to think about the effects of war. I want them to realize that not every adult who tries to force them to do something has their best interests in mind. I want them to learn to think for themselves, believe for themselves, hope for themselves. I want my kids to figure out how to survive in the wilds of the real world—whatever that world is like when they get there.
Three of my four kids read the book before we saw the movie. And they GOT IT. Even my youngest (11) understands that it is truly not a story about kids killing kids, but of kids learning how their actions can change things. They can change themselves, their families, their communities, society, and yes, they can change the world.
What’s more, I think that as the series progresses, as they find out what happens next, they’ll see what hatred and war can do, how it can destroy people, and also how hope can give them the power to rebuild.
Granted, this is not a story for little people (as mentioned above, my youngest is almost 12). And it’s not something anyone should read or watch hoping for any kind of lightheartedness. It’s a heavy subject. It’s a heartbreaking subject. This story stabs us in the heart and twists until the very end. But it’s a beautiful story of hope, determination, and love.
In case you haven’t read my blog header, those things are important themes in my life. Themes I want my children to really get. So yes, I took them to the midnight premier. Yes, we discussed all these things, and yes, I’m quite certain they understand why this movie (and the book series) is so big and so important to me.
Because some stories are more than mere stories. They’re lessons we should all learn, even the young.
So what about you? Did you go? Would you take your tween?