When the book opens, North America as we know it has been destroyed and is now divided into 12 districts, ruled by an oppressive government located at the Capitol. Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from District 12, takes her younger sister’s place as one of 24 “tributes” selected every year to participate in the Hunger Games at the Capitol.
The Games pit children from ages 12 to 18 against each other in a fight to the death in a giant, treacherous arena. Everything is televised and highly publicized all over the country. Katniss must not only survive the Games, but deal with a romance between her and another tribute from District 12, all the while deciding if she is willing to kill strangers her own age as a pawn of an oppressive government.