#833: The hunger and the passion

I said to myself that I’ve been too busy with various things, and I can’t have yet another unfinished book (my third) on my shelf. I tried to avoid reading it, even as the hype built up around me. But I can no longer deny it: I’m now caught up in the frenzy that surrounds The Hunger Games. And it’s all my 10-year-old daughter’s fault.

I was confident when I encouraged her a few weeks ago to pick up the book (based on a friend’s estimation that she’d like it), that it could hold her interest for a while. But I didn’t think that she’d be so into it: She put her name on the library’s hold list for some of the books, and after finding that there was a wait time of 121 days, she started scouring bookstores and sites for sale prices. (We snagged a boxed set finally, at a 25% discount.) She e-mailed the library and begged ever so nicely to be allowed to participate in their trivia challenge, which was “recommended for ages 12+.” (Thank goodness they said yes, or she would have been crushed.) She asks me every day, “Where can I go to find a kid sitting reading The Hunger Games, so I can strike up a conversation and start discussing the book with them?” (We’re still puzzled by this one, as we’ve determined that kids don’t just sit at the local café or library, just reading quietly like adults do.) She’s even entertaining the idea of start her own club/message board/on-line fan forum to find kids with a similar passion for the books.
And now she’s finally done it: her enthusiasm was so contagious that she finally got both her mother and her six-year-old brother hooked. So hooked that we stayed up over an hour past their bedtime last night, to read the first two chapters as our bedtime story.

It says something about the level of a kid’s enthusiasm, when she can successfully convince her younger brother to open his mind about a book that seems a bit beyond his level of understanding. When she can get said brother to share in her ardour, and understand the characters long before he has picked up the book. When she can get him to memorize and recite with confidence and brimming curiosity, the first line of the book: “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.” And while I’m not so crazy as to try to fight the crowds on opening day, I’m as excited as these two are for the movie to arrive.

To be so passionate about something that you can convince others to share in your hunger for it—that’s a pretty powerful thing.

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