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Students get early viewing of ‘The Hunger Games’

A group of Farmington students will get to see the highly anticipated book-turned-movie, “The Hunger Games” this morning.

Not at midnight.

They get their own special viewing Friday morning, just hours after the movie is released in theaters.

Mindy Southern, the library media specialist at Farmington High School, said “The Hunger Games” series is extremely popular at their school.

“The first book is constantly checked out,” she said.

The library offered an incentive where students could see the movie Friday if they earned 24 Reading Counts points between Feb. 7 to March 15. To go, students also had to maintain at least a 93 percent attendance during that same time frame.

The school worked out a deal with the theater where students would pay a discounted rate to attend. A little more than 100 students, including 20 special needs students, are planning to see the movie today. Some students had to work very hard to earn the incentive and she is very proud of them.

Southern said the students are really excited.

“Most have read the book,” she said. “The books are really, really good!”

A count-down poster has been helping everyone count down the days.

By seeing the movie this morning, students didn’t have to worry about trying to get tickets for or staying awake for a midnight-night showing. Southern said she still heard some students talking about wanting to go to the midnight release anyway.

A group of Central Middle school students who’ve read the book were also going to the movie through their communication arts classes.

As of Thursday afternoon, the AMC theater in Farmington was not sold out for the midnight showing. They planned to show the movie in all four theaters.

The PG-13 rated, 142-minute long movie is based on the first novel of Suzanne Collins’ best selling “The Hunger Games” trilogy.

In the ruins of what was once North America, 12 remaining districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, televised for all to see. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes a contender in the Games in order to save her little sister, Prim, from competing. Only one of the 24 contenders can survive.

Southern said it is a neat storyline and you fall in love with the main character. The book appeals to both boys and girls with action and “a little bit of a relationship story,” Southern said.

The book is also very popular at Bonne Terre Memorial Library.

“The book has been really popular with young adults and kids from the time we got them,” said Amanda Carron. “With the movie coming out, the book has flown off the shelves with adults. There’s a waiting list on every single book.”

Carron likes the book very much. It was used for the young adults summer reading book club.

Compared to Harry Potter, another popular book series, “It’s just as good, well-written and fast-paced,” she said. She said this is more reality-based or alternate reality based and post apocalyptic.

Carron and her 20-year-old daughter, Chelsea, plan to see the movie this weekend when things calm down.

Bonnie Myers said she planned to go Friday night.

Stacy Wilkerson-Lappe said she is going to a morning showing. “You don’t need to be a kid to enjoy the series,” she said.

Doris Worley, librarian at North County Middle School, said the book is popular there, especially right now with the movie coming out.

They have multiple copies of the book since it was a Truman Readers Award winner. It’s popular with students, as well as teachers, substitutes, and other staff, she said.

“I think it will be the next big thing … like Twilight,” she said, “with a movie for every book.”

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at

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