Before there was ... The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I was reading a review of The Giver on Reading Teen a while back and it got me thinking. There are all sorts of popular new books out these days, but what about the ones that came before? There are people who don’t realize that the “new” genres and plot twists they love were already done ten, twenty, thirty years ago. So in the interest of giving those books some credit, let’s take a look at the oldies. Welcome to my new series, Before There Was, celebrating older and more obscure titles that will appeal to lovers of contemporary favorites.   Coming up:  Twilight, Throne of Glass, and more! 

Before there was The Hunger Games 
by Suzanne Collins, there was . . . 

The nation is becoming overcrowded and the Population Police have taken drastic measures. Only two children per family, and they’re enforcing it with death. Luke is one of the hidden, the third child of a family determined not to break the rules again. Until he meets Jen, another third child who’s been contacting other third children on a secret network. She’s determined to start a revolution, and escape into the light. A fast-paced adventure with high stakes and an endearing main character.

You’ve read the copies; here’s the crown jewel in the dystopian family. The world is broken into massive states governed by powerful men who rule with iron fists, including the oppressive Big Brother. Winston Smith works for the government, but nurses a secret wish to return to a time before the Thought Police controlled every form of communication, before Newspeak replaced creativity. The famous story of what happens when free thought is taken over.   The writing is pretty accessible to teenage readers, and it's classic 

The start to this classic sci-fi dystopian revolves around Ender, an outcast boy struggling to fit in with his peers.  Only his peers are other child geniuses engineered and raised by the government to be super space soldiers for their long-standing war.  Only Ender and his siblings might be more than just soldiers ... they might be able to save the Earth.  Haven't read it yet myself, but I have it on very good faith (and rabid insistence) from good friends that it's a life-changing book.  

Click the book titles to find out more! 

What other older or obscure books 
remind you of The Hunger Games?  


  1. I haven't read anything similar to HG, personally. I know there are books like it out there though. Anything with a dystopian feel compares obviously. I was talking to an older (in his 70s) worker at my local bookstore one day about HG when the movie came to town and he's like it just sounds like "Logan's Run" to me. I haven't seen the movie, but I'll just take his word for it since he was around for it's release to compare the two, lol.

    I still plan on reading at least the first book in the series though :)

    1. I've heard of Logan's Run but I have no idea why. Ha, maybe I'll go see if I can find it on Netflix.

      You should! The Hunger Games deserves all the good press it gets. Even the love triangle is minimally annoying.