Katniss the Cattail: A Guide to Names and Symbols in The Hunger Games by Valerie Estelle Frankel

English professor and pop-culture author Valerie Frankel delves into the symbolism, history, and mythology behind the popular Hunger Games series.

The largest part of this book is an examination of the names of the significant characters in all three of the Hunger Games books, listed in alphabetical order.  Following that, Frankel explains the meaning of the main symbols in the series and then examines its themes.  The index contains a list of the names covered, this time organized by origin, and also a list of the Districts of Panem and their products.

The depth of research Frankel put into this book was really impressive.  She draws on a dizzying array of sources, which are meticulously noted in the bibliography.  Some of the name interpretations she give seem like a bit of a stretch, but others, like Gale’s, seem spot-on.  She also shows how the characters influence and illuminate each other, as in the relationship between Katniss and her sister’s cat, Buttercup.

The author draws a strong correlation with Roman and military history, especially give Suzanne Collins’ military background.  I found the origin of the word Avox particularly interesting.

This is a detailed and fascinating look behind the scenes of a great series.  I highly recommend it to any Hunger Games fans.

Title:  Katniss the Cattail: An Unauthorized Guide to Names and Symbols in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games

Author:  Valerie Estelle Frankel

Genre:  Non-Fiction

Publication: Valerie Estelle Frankel, February 13, 2012

Price:  $4.95 – $6.95 (e-book, all formats), $6.95 (paperback)

Author’s Website:  http://vefrankel.com/

2012 E-Book Challenge, 10 of 50

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