What would Katniss Everdeen Read?

Katniss, lead character in the book (and movie) series The Hunger Games, is totally focused on surviving the "games" and outwitting corrupt public officials like President Snow in the dystopic future society of Panem.

She's so busy trying to save herself and her family that she doesn't have a lot of time for books and reading.

However, if Katniss Everdeen ever slowed down enough to walk into my library and ask for reading suggestions, here is what I would recommend for her:

The Mark of Athena  This action-packed adventure from the Percy Jackson series features Annabeth Chase, daughter of the goddess Athena. Katniss would enjoy Annabeth's intelligent approach to problem-solving and her ability to resort to weapons as needed. Annabeth is smart, strong, and skilled, and her friends are always loyal to her.

Because Katniss is frequently on the move, she should listen to this book on a pre-loaded audiobook, which is tiny enough to tuck into her braid and comes with earbuds she can wear while running away from scary stuff.

Wilderness Ranger Cookbook  Contributors to this cookbook are U.S. Forest Service wilderness rangers--and they know what tastes good when you need to capture some of what you eat! Recipes are simple, inexpensive, easy to prepare, and nutritious: exactly what Katniss and her friends need as an alternative to that horrible stew they sell on the black market.  

The Ultimate Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook  Short entries on each topic are quick to read and feature excellent illustrations to clarify important points from storms to stampedes and beyond.  Katniss is already good at surviving in the wild, but when she needs help with interpersonal crises, dating emergencies, and workplace conflicts, she needs it fast--and this book can supply it! Plus, it would make good fire starter (but Katniss really should not set a library book on fire).

AMERICA 1  Even a hardcore survivalist like Katniss Everdeen needs to relax sometimes. What better for that then a graphic novel featuring no-nonsense super-powerhouse America Chavez?  America was a member of the Young Avengers and the leader of the Ultimates--and now she's off to college (as soon as she copes with a pesky inter-dimensional monster or two). Fast-paced, escapist fun with fabulous illustrations, perfect for unwinding after a long day of not dying.

I always like to include a "wildcard" suggestion. For Katniss Everdeen, I recommend:

The Bear and the Nightingale  This lovely recasting of Russian folklore would make an excellent bedtime reading for Katniss. The main character, Vasilisa, is a strong female protagonist growing up in a small village in Northern Rus', who triumphs over magical foes in terrible circumstances. Katniss would not feel silly reading this story aloud to Prim or any of her other younger friends.  

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