Required Reading that you actually liked


From The Half-Price Blog.


Gale’s Perspective


This story is from Gale Hawthorne’s perspective and it is written by Bailey.

I could barely sleep, realising that I could indeed be the male tribute from 12, with my name in umm, 42 times I think. But I couldn’t afford to think like this. I closed my eyes and eventually managed to get a couple hours of sleep.

I later woke at the crack of dawn and needed to clear my head, so I headed off to the woods.  I knew I could have my tongue cut out and turned into an avox or worse if I was caught, but that was a risk I was willing to take to provide for my family. I’m sure Catnip does the same for little Prim and for her mother.

I started heading down to the electric fence which is never on, but something caught my eye…a boot print. I thought to myself that Catnip couldn’t sleep either. I went to the trunk where Catnip hid her bow and arrows…they were not there. So I followed the bootprints till I saw Catnip eyeing up a deer.

“What are you going to do with that when you kill it?”

Saying this startled the deer and it began to run. Catnip turned around, “Damn you Gale!”. I could hear the anger and frustration in her voice. “ What are you going to do with a 50 pound deer, Catnip?”. She looked at me with a calm face but still some anger in her eyes, “Well, sell it”. I looked at her with a confused look. “ On Reaping Day? The whole of District 12 will be crawling with peacekeepers.” Feeling bad for Katniss by letting that deer get away, I looked to the ground in search of something to throw. I picked up a stone the size my hand and tossed it towards the treetops, doing this rustled up some birds and Katniss somewhat gracefully shot an arrow straight into the bird’s eye, it hit the ground with a large thud. She turned and looked at me, we both started to giggle.

I heard a faint drone in the distance, leaves started rustling overhead. I grabbed Katniss and we hid under the nearest cover. Looking up in awe I saw what at first looked like a silver cloud, I soon realised that I was looking up at the hovercraft that was used at the Reaping. This meant that the peacekeepers and the announcer Effie Trinket were here. Effie is hard to describe she is, well.. an odd person. At that moment I remembered the bread in my jacket. I rustled the bread out of my jacket and gave it to Catnip. She gasped in astonishment, “ Oh my God Gale, is this real?” I replied, “It better be, it cost me a squirrel”. So we sat there in the long grass eating our bread. I looked at Catnip and she said to me, “We could do it you know, run off into the woods. My family your family and…”. I interrupted her and said, “Yeah we could, but if we got caught that could mean death or being turned into an avox”. She looked at me with bread in hand and she perked up and said, “ Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favour”. We laughed, then Catnip asked me, “How many times is your name in the ballot?”.  “Umm 42…I guess the odds aren’t exactly in my favour”.

I eventually said goodbye to Catnip and headed back to my house where my mother had laid out my father’s clothes, the best he had before he died. As I left, my mother wished me luck with a tear running down her cheek. As I was walking to the registration I thought about what Katniss said earlier, about running away to the woods where we could possibly survive but my thoughts and eyes were distracted, I was trying to take in what the announcer was wearing. Everything was PINK, it was quite the eyesore. Distracted by the illuminated pink of Effie, I did not realise that the Peacekeeper was getting rather frustrated by my inattention. When I apologised she still forcefully shoved the needle in my finger, this one seemed to hurt more than all the other years, both mentally and physically.

Then I saw Catnip and Primrose, the pair looked somewhat out of their element. When all of District 12 was huddled into the town square, I scanned for Katniss, I think she was twelfth from the front and I mouthed “Good Luck”. She smirked. As always the sound of the anthem boomed through the speakers and at the end of the song, out walked Effie, with a disgusted look on her face, she started reading a card. I had zoned out after that, she then pointed to the screen and the promotional video was played. At the end she said, “Okay, first will be the girls”. I took a deep breath and waited for the ‘lucky’ soul that it was going to be. “The female tribute from District 12 is……Primrose Everdeen!”. At first I couldn’t believe the words, but it was obviously true because soon after it was announced Prim started walking up. I felt my heart sink. But what happened next felt like a boulder from the mines had been dropped straight onto my chest, Katniss put up her hand and screamed something at first I didn’t understand but she cleared her throat and said, “I volunteer, I volunteer as tribute!”. These words kept doing circles in my head as I ran forward and scooped up Prim. She started screaming and practically blew out my eardrum. “Well…” Effie said “What a turn of events, I present District 12’s very first volunteer.”


The Gamemaker


Angelina’s story from Seneca Crane’s perspective.

We were up high, safe in our balcony overlooking the tributes. Our bird’s eye view allowed us to see them come and go, some were scared, some were confident but all of them felt the anticipation of death, it was tinted in their eyes. It was amusing that they tried to impress us in every possible way because they thought it would save their miserable little lives.Throwing knives, spears at unmoving targets, hardly skilful. I have seen a cat do more impressive tricks than that. I could look at them all day and still have the same opinion. They are not a patch on a real citizen, these peasant rats.

In my opinion, bow and arrows were boring and far too common, I have seen all the tricks that are possible and all the talent over the years but it was always the same. Shoot, hit target or shoot, miss target. So dull. It was more exciting when the shot actually did some damage. A bit of tribute blood tends to liven up the proceedings. That boy from 12 was a little more interesting though, as he threw giant metal balls high into the air. It was surprising to see such a small youth have such a trick up his sleeve. He broke the tedium a little. Some played the game like that, pretending to be a sheep when in reality they were the dangerous wolf. So it didn’t come as that much of a surprise. Besides, it was only a score to show who has more potential, it was more for the audience to pick their favourite out of the bowl of sweets. None of them really stunned us. Until she turned up.

Another archer. I could barely look at her display. Her first attempt was pathetic.She didn’t impress us that Katniss Everdeen. Honestly, I thought there was more to her than that. We had heard that she was a possible star. We all sat patiently, waiting for the shot to be fired. “FWOOMB”. Miss. Laughter exploded from us all. Her chance to impress was gone, there was nothing she could do now to save her skin. She had lost our attention. She was now as visible as a ghost to us.

My thoughts turned to food,“Who ordered this pig?” I asked, more as rhetorical question than anything. Everyone in the room was ready to take a little detour from the proceedings. My eyes turned back to the giant pig, coated with a crispy vanish of fat. Now, this was definitely the highlight of my day I thought as I rose to my feet to help myself. The animal looked delicious, its head tilted up like a ballerina in the middle of a glorious pose, laying on a mountain of luxurious fruit ready to be devoured. It was the sight of a plump apple, sleeping in the concave of the pig’s mouth that really got my juices working. It was red and round, almost like a target.

One of my colleagues, Cassius came up to the table and congratulated me on my promotion, “You are doing a wonderful job, this might even be the best Hunger Games yet.” Cassius was just trying to kiss up, it wasn’t working, I could hear the loathing in his voice. His job was to get all the tributes to ‘play nice’ during training, but he had wanted the Head Gamemaker role. He was bitter,  he always tried to make his facial art more impressive than mine but he tries too hard. You need to have a more signature look but he changes his too often, a fashion victim if I ever saw one. Then it happened.

“THUMP” The apple was punctured by her speeding arrow, straight through the middle of the core. Now it was plastered to the red wall. The apple looked as if it had actually hit someone, red, like blood. We all stumbled back. Time sped up in that moment and my head jolted towards the perpetrator. That Everdeen girl. She had gained my attention after all.

Well, that girl certainly knew how to make a statement. I was shaking with the shock and the adrenaline hit in. I tried to compose myself so I wouldn’t give her (or anyone else) the satisfaction of looking weak. This girl could make the 74th Hunger Games one of the best ever and me the best gamemaker in the history of the Games. It was splendid. That girl stood in front of us, facing us down without holding back or any shyness visible. She was in the driver’s seat and we all knew it. When she spoke and said, “Thank you for your consideration” she spat the last word, sarcasm dripping from every syllable.

It was clear that I’ll need to really focus on her because it will captivate the audience. Katniss Everdeen will be addictive viewing  and the ratings will be higher than ever. I can see it now, “What will the girl do next with her explosive attitude?” That is all the people will be talking about. All will say that the Games have been exceptionally amusing this year because of  the great Seneca Crane. She will be the key to my success and glory! Now all I have to do is build her up as much as possible just to tear her down in front of everyone in the most dramatic turn of events. Ideas rushed to my mind as I watched her bold exit with her hips swinging side to side. She thinks that she can’t be controlled by us. Just wait until she steps into the arena, I’ll teach her how to play games.

Primrose Everdeen


Megan has written from the perspective of Primrose Everdeen.

I am twelve years old now, this is my first year having my name in that dreary, old Reaping bowl.  I am so nervous, over the past few days leading up to the Reaping I have been having horrible nightmares about me being called up onto the stage and having to prepare myself for death, it is so horrible.  But luckily my older sister Katniss is there to reassure me and help me get back to sleep again.  But today is the day where one boy and one girl will be called up onto the stage and will be the tributes for District 12.

I am in a pretty shirt and pants that my mother chose for me, I am looking so good, in fact I have never looked this good.  My hair is in a tidy french plait and my tail of my shirt is tucked in. A painful prick goes into my finger, all I can do is let out a small yelp, it is horrible.  Effie Trinket, a representative from the Capitol stands on the stage with a victor who had won the Hunger Games years ago, his name was Haymitch Abernathy.

“Welcome! Welcome! Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favour!” she says. “Now, as usual, ladies first!”  My heart is beating so hard that I think it might actually explode!  “PRIMROSE EVERDEEN!”  Oh my God, did my name actually get called out?  How is that possible, this is my first year ever. Why me?  “Where are you? Come on up dear, “ Effie asks. But just as she says this Katniss screams out, “Prim! I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!”  My heart stops beating for a moment taking in what Katniss has just said, all I can murmur is no!  Before I can move, Gale Hawthorne comes up and puts me over his shoulder and takes me away. I’m kicking and throwing my arms around but it doesn’t help, the one person in the world that I look up to  has been taken away from me and she is going to die.

Balbua Horatius – Capitol Citizen


This story from Keegan is written from the perspective of a sheltered and selfish Capitol citizen.

It was the day of the Reaping, the day that 24 young tributes are chosen fight to the death, how magnificent! The rush they must have, the excitement, the honour. Everyone in districts, from 1 to 12 must wish to be a tribute. Who wouldn’t want to become a honorary tribute and fight for their proud nation? Their fathers must be proud. Yes, some will die but they all deserve their fate, after all it is their fault they are in this situation.

Now hundreds and thousands of our nation’s proud citizens are at the Reaping. I can’t wait to see who is chosen from Districts One and Two, they always have the best tributes. Strong proud warriors are always on offer, unlike most districts. The lesser districts like 12 always scream and cry. It is ridiculous none of that nonsense is needed! The Reaping in my eyes, portrays strength and honour. The best tributes will be astonishing!

As I think of those who will come from Districts One and Two the excitement flows through my veins. Two muscular men and two very agile young woman what a gift towards our worthy cause! They will be so unlike those from Districts 3-10, all their tributes are weak and pathetic! I know this is a really good year, not only do we have Districts One and Two’s magnificent tributes, but we also have one athletic tribute in District 11.

Its time for the last Reaping of today, its District 12. No one of note will come from there. The girls has been chosen, a Primrose Everdeen, a child! She won’t last long. The only entertainment comes from Effie Trinket wearing that magnificent gown.  She is glorious! What’s this? A young woman has volunteered. Now that’s a surprise. It looks like she is the girl’s sister.

This volunteer, this Katniss Everdeen looks strong. She may ruffle a few feathers. The 74th Hunger Games may be the best yet! May the strongest tribute win.


The Avox

avox story

By Cameron 

There are thousands of pearls intricately binding her throat. Thoughts of envy roll off the seaside and fog up my mind as I stare at her flawless necklace. My mind is daring me to reach out and snatch it. The flick of her wrist and snap of her fingers lure me out of my impregnable imagination. I notice she is having trouble cutting her meat and as predicted she commands for me to do it, “Avox cut my meat.” I give her a silent nod of recognition, then proceed to fulfill the current order. Both her husband and presumed son watch me intensely. Their peering pairs of eyes burn holes into the outer shell of my hollow body. I feel the immense pressure build up after every cut I make. Knowing that even the smallest of mistakes will be worthy of severe punishment.

But as long as I serve their food and cater to their every need, they will spare me. But this is their ingenious plan, as long as the Capitol still evoke fear into the heart of the districts, no one will fight back. We will follow their every order, and our reward is surviving to live another day. As long as the Capitol has their bombs and their weapons, the districts and their people will skulk back to their corners and cower. The Capitol is the predator and we are the prey.

“That’s enough!” she says, as if she is displeased with my effort. I display a plastic smile to the entire family, then skulk back to my corner of the room and cower. Their opulent glass table is the feature point of the room. It’s coated in trays of lavish foods, silver cutlery and fine dining wear. There is a baby blue silk table cloth that runs along the table, it drapes perfectly down to their marble floor without  seam out of place or a crease in sight. Their marble floor is a sea of bleach. The white waves lap at the walls, dulling their bright colours with the incoming tide. Although the marble floor soaks up the room colours, my mistress’ hair makes up for what is lost. Its extremely red, not like a rose but like a fire. The inner layers of her hair blend in with the orange colour of her tips. This hairstyle is very much in vogue. Everyone is wearing flames. I heard this style was created after a plucky tribute in this years Hunger Games. The Capitol loves an underdog.

I watch resentfully as the redhead picks at her roast chicken with her glossy nails. She makes a great effort to extract the undesirable parts of the bird. Even those undesirable parts that she so imprudently avoids, are luxuries that we could not afford back in 12. The sight reminds me of the chicken I stole back in District 12. Although in retrospect I didn’t think that poultry would determine my life as a slave to the very people who mutilated my tongue and condemned me to a world of silence. “You are dismissed,” the man says. I trudge back to my closet bedroom and lie down upon the floor. Shards of light shine through the cracks in my curtains revealing my drab room. I watch the sunset paint red and orange smears on blossomed clouds, and then transform into the dark nightsky. I see Mockingjays nestling down in a tree outside my window. My covetous eyes watch the birds, the freedom they display. I yearn to mimic the Mockingjays, to leave this place and glide upon the wind; as far as my wings will take me, to an unknown location. But this is my life, it won’t be any other way because the Capitol’s the predator and I am the prey.

In-character Writing – A Matter of Perspective


Year 10 students have been busily writing as a character from The Hunger Games. The task was to create a piece of writing based on The Hunger Games. Students were to retell an event from a fresh perspective.

I have really enjoyed reading the stories and will add some of them to this blog.

The first one is from the perspective of an Avox. Avox means ‘without a voice’ in Latin. Avoxes are rebels and to punish them the Capitol has ordered that their tongues are cut out. They become servants that must wait upon the citizens of the Capitol and tributes.

The story is by Cameron.

Top 50 books that will …


It has become commonplace to claim that teenagers read books that are too easy and that they won’t read books that challenge them. Teachers and librarians try hard to push challenging titles to older kids and to help with that cause the organisers of World Book Day have announced a list that might help. Here is an example and you can find further ideas on The Guardian site.

Books to change the way you think:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • A Streetcat Named Bob by James Bowen
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Wonder by RJ Palacio
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Sunday Quote Day


Phyllis McGinley