The Beauty of Rereading a Novel...

The beauty of rereading a novel... #CatchingFire www.hungergameslessons.com

The beauty of rereading a novel: those little gems you didn't notice the first time. 

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Spoiler alert: If you have not read Catching Fire, you should stop reading as there is a major spoiler here.

While rereading Catching Fire for the sixth or seventh time, I noticed this line from Effie as the District 12 team readies for their victory dinner in District 11: "So, I was just having a peek around because district ruins are going to be all the rage this year..." (page 69).

Talk about foreshadowing! I wondered why I hadn't I noticed that line before? The hint of what is to come at the end of the book is so obvious, yet I must not have paid any attention to it before. Or maybe I had forgotten.

Which really is the beauty of a re-read. There is always something I either hadn't noticed or I've forgotten that stands out. It does not matter how many times I've read the book, either. After almost 100 readings of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I still find these little gems sitting on the page waiting for me to discover or rediscover them.

This is one reason why I am still content with using The Hunger Games trilogy in my classroom. Yes, many students have already read the series before I have them in class. But showing them that a reread can be just as pleasurable, if not more so, is a lesson in itself. Many of them don't remember anything but the basic plot. Those little details that pop out now add more depth to the overall storyline.

Think about the line above: why would Effie use the term "ruins" as she is having a "peek around" District 11? Is she implying that District 11 is currently (because of its unkemptness) in ruins or implying that it was in ruins in the past...or that it will be in ruins? Or could she be suggesting that there is more than just one district, besides District 13, that is in ruins? Or is her quote foreshadowing that another district will be in ruins by the end of the book?

I find myself wanting to discuss more and more with students who have already read the series on this reread because it's so delightful to see the lightbulbs go off in their heads when they come across these little portending nuggets.

In case you are worried about reading a book half your class has already read: don't worry. Chances are they will take delight in these aha! moments along with you.

*Side note worth mentioning: I had noticed this when I first read the book, but it's worthy of discussion. Suzanne Collins uses the word "Peacemakers" here rather than the standard "Peacekeepers" she has been using throughout the trilogy. I believe this happens another time because I recall talking about the "Peacemakers" in class and having a student correct me (don't you love it when they do that!?). Then I went back to look at why I would have used "Peacemakers" and, sure enough, there it was in the book. I've always thought this was just a mistake. What are your thoughts?

Classroom Connections: Foreshadowing while re-reading Catching Fire on www.hungergameslessons.com


  1. although I haven't reread the books (yet:) I think this is just a typo either by the publisher or the author. i think "peacemaker" is too positive a word for the Peacekeepers.

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