The Hunger Games Chapters 1 - 3 Summary

It is reaping day for the country of Panem. This is the day in which one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts, which surround the city of Capitol, are chosen for a fight to the death. The chosen ones are called tributes. The districts are required to give up the children as a condition of the Treaty of Treason, which resulted from an uprising of the districts population against the citizens of Capitol. Every child between the ages of twelve and eighteen are eligible to be chosen through a random drawing. The youngest children have their names entered once, while with each passing year the number of entries go up for the others. The reaping and the fight to the death are called the Hunger Games. The winner, who is the last child left alive, is rewarded with gifts not only for themselves, but for their whole district for a year.

This year Katniss Everdeen, who is sixteen and has twenty entries in the reaping, is more afraid for her friend, Gale, who is eighteen and has forty-two entries. Katniss' sister Primrose is experiencing her first reaping and has one entry.

The occupants of District 12's Seam, where Katniss and her family live, are very poor. Katniss is responsible for feeding her mother, sister, and herself, because her father died in a mining explosion. Many people who live District 12's Seam go hungry, because of a lack of food. Katniss poaches from the woods with Gale, an act which could get them killed.

The people in the districts are controlled by the officials in Capitol. District 12 is surrounded by an electrified fence and the people are under constant scrutiny.

On this reaping day, the girl's name called out is Primrose Everdeen.

Katniss volunteers to replace her sister as tribute. This is a highly unusual move, but it is according to the rules of the reaping.

Effie Trinket, the Capitol official in charge of drawing the names, asks the crowd to applaud Katniss, but instead they stay silent. It is their way of letting her know they do not approve of the reaping.

Then Effie draws the District 12 boy's name, it is Peeta Mellark. Katniss is upset with the pick, because she feels she owes him for a kindness he showed her five years ago. After her father was killed, her mother retreated into her own world. Instead of getting a job to support her children, she became immovable and unresponsive. Prim and Katniss began to go hungry. Katniss tried to keep Prim neat and presentable, because if the Peacekeepers found out they were not being cared for, then they would put Katniss and Prim into the community home.

This is a place where children with no family, or their family is unable to care for them, are taken. The conditions there are harsh and the children live miserable existences. Katniss would not allow that to happen to her sweet little sister.

One day, at her lowest point, Peeta helped Katniss and her family. Her family was starving to death, which in the Seam is not an unusual occurrence. As she looked for food in garbage cans, Peeta saw her searching the empty garbage cans behind his family's bakery. He "accidently" burned two loaves of bread and threw them to Katniss.

She never thanked him for the bread. The bread gave her the will to go on and spotting a dandelion the next day gave her the idea to hunt in the woods.

Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Justice Building and put into separate rooms. There they have an hour to say good-bye to their loved ones and friends. Katniss tells her sister and mother what they need to do to survive while she is away. She reminds her mother she cannot abandon Prim, as she did just after their father died. Her mother promises she will take care of Prim.

Then Peeta's father visits Katniss, he gives her some cookies and tells her he will make sure Prim doesn't go hungry. Her next visitor is Madge, the mayor's daughter, who gives Katniss her pin, which is a small golden mockingjay with a circle around it. Madge makes Katniss promise to wear it into the arena. The mockingjay reminds Katniss of her father, because he used to sing to the birds, who would repeat his song. The birds are a hybrid of jabberjays and mockingjays. The jabberjay was used by the Capitol to spy on the districts, because they could repeat conversations. Then later they were discarded and they mated with mockingjays.

Lastly she is visited by Gale, who tells her she needs to fashion a bow and arrows, because she is a skilled archer. He believes this is her best chance to win the competition. After he leaves, she and Peeta are taken to the train station.

They will travel in luxury to Capitol, which is located in the Rockies. Panem used to be the United States, which was destroyed by natural disasters and wars. District 12 is located in an area which used to be called Appalachia.

On the train, Peeta and Katniss are given new clothes to wear, take hot showers, and eat foods they have never tasted before. Effie Trinket is happy they have table manners, because last year's tributes ate with their hands. This is because they were so hungry, they did not have time for table manners.

Then they watch the reaping of the other districts to find out who they will be competing against. Some are large boys who look intimidating and others are small or infirmed.

Katniss is a sixteen-year-old girl fighting to survive in the Seam located in District 12. She is the only one standing between her family living or starving. She feels responsible for her twelve-year-old sister Primrose, so when Primrose is chosen in the reaping, Katniss volunteers to take her place.

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