Happy New Year! The Best of Hunger Games in 2011

Seeing Josh as Peeta in EW was one of my highlights!

This past year was a whirlwind of news for Hunger Games fans. What was your favorite news for 2011? Many of the admins. from our favorite fan sites weighed-in at Movies.com with their favorites. And I agree with them all!

There is no way I can pick a favorite. I can, however, narrow down a few of mine.

Josh as Peeta
Hearing that Jennifer Lawrence would play Katniss was great, but even better for me was the casting of Peeta. I have been a Josh Hutcherson fan for a long time. When his name was announced, I had complete faith in the rest of the casting. He is perfect for Peeta and the fact that Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross saw that (even though he may not have looked like people thought Peeta should) renewed my excitement for the movie. You see, I've always been a bit leery about my favorite books being made into movies. Too often they never turn out as I thought or they completely changed things. Just knowing Josh was cast as Peeta made me a believer in this movie.

Daily Casting Announcements
The cast announcements of April were exciting for me because I was teaching The Hunger Games at the time. Each day a new character or tribute was announced I put a picture up on my white board for my students. When they came into the room for English class, many would go straight to the board to see the latest casting. We'd discuss the actor choice (most of the tributes I had never heard of, but we talked about their looks and if that was how we pictured them). I even had former students stopping by to see who was cast. It was a holiday-like atmosphere in class, which is always nice when it generates excitement for a BOOK and reading (a rare occurrence for high-schoolers). It was also genius on Lionsgate's part, stringing us along like that. It drove us mad, but we loved it.

The Teaser to the Trailer
I didn't even know there was such a thing (a teaser to a trailer, that is). Or that 30 seconds could be oh, so satisfying. Yes, the teaser generated even more anticipation for the movie, which did add to my anxiousness, but in a good way.

The Full-Length Trailer
What a big, big day this was! Watching this LIVE in my classroom with my first-period English II class was definitely a top moment for me. I have my largest group of students first period and some of them are quite chatty. But when the intro came on, those same chatty students were shushing others and the room went silent. Even after it finished, we were all still in awe. We just sat there for a moment, with "wow" looks on our faces. Then the kids burst out, complaining that it ended at THAT PART. "How could they just stop it right there?" I know. I know! And even some of the most reluctant kids to get into the book said they could not wait to see the movie. It was a happy, happy day!

Listening, Tweeting, and Interacting With My Friends at The Hunger Games Fireside Chat
I have been fortunate enough to get to know so many great people in The Hunger Games fandom. This is due largely to Savanna New and Adam Spunberg, hosts of the weekly Hunger Games Fireside Chat podcast. Through them, I have made so many great friends from sites like Hunger Games Down With the Capitol, Mockingjay, The Hob, Victor's Village, Hunger Games Examiner, Hunger Games Girl on Fire, the music of District Tribute, The Katniss Chronicles, Hunger Games Parody, and so many more. Without this weekly broadcast, I would have never been able to converse with, collaborate with, and share in our love for the series. I know that the insights offered by the guests and regular participants have enhanced my knowledge of The Hunger Games. Thank you all for your fabulous conversations in 2011!

First Edition, First Printing Signed Copies of The Hunger Games Trilogy
My final favorite moment was a private one, but I did share with my Twitter and Facebook friends (OK, maybe "not so private" in that regard!). My husband surprised me on Christmas morning with first-edition, first-printing of all three novels. In addition, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire were signed by Suzanne Collins. You have no idea how excited I was. I seriously thought the box contained a portable sweeper for our tile floors (which I was asking for since out last one fizzled out). And I would have been completely happy with a sweeper, by the way. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box. Yes, it was truly the highlight of my year!

What were your favorite Hunger Games moments from 2011? 
Share them below or post a link!
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