Is The Hunger Games movie too scary for younger fans of the book?

Is The Hunger Games movie too scary for younger fans of the book? 150 150 Mediatrics

Katniss from Hunger Games with a bow in the woodsCMCH staff contributed to the following post on Thriving, Children's Hospital Boston's pediatric health blog, about the movie The Hunger Games. The post is written by Thriving blogger Tripp Underwood.

The movie The Hunger Games opens today, and record tickets sales are expected to make the grisly, post-apocalyptic, survival tale one of the spring’s biggest blockbusters. Like the Harry Potter and Twilight series before it, The Hunger Games film is based on a book written for young adults that has captured the imaginations of readers of all ages.

Considering the ultraviolent nature of The Hunger Games’ plot line—24 teenage protagonists are pitted against each other in a fight to the death—is all this hype a good thing for young, would-be fans? The intended age for young adult novels is 12 to 17, but the books’ popularity has piqued the interest of much younger readers. Not wanting to sully their younger children’s budding interest in reading, many parents across the country have allowed them to read the story.

But just because your child has read The Hunger Game books, does that mean she’s ready to watch it’s bloody action unfold on the big screen? The answer will vary from child to child, but it’s a question parents of younger Hunger Game fans need to ask.

“[Reading about violence] is a gut experience as opposed to a head experience,’’ said Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center on Media and Child Health, in a recent Boston Globe story. “A movie is very direct. You are seeing it, you are hearing it, as compared with translating it from black ink on a page into something in your own mind.’’ Continue reading here.