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Published March 22 2012

Though focus on young adults, ‘Games’ appeals to all ages

MOORHEAD – With the release of “The Hunger Games” movie today, area movie theaters will likely be filled with young audiences.

But although the book is marketed primarily toward young adults, its appeal goes far beyond that demographic. Just ask 30-year-old Janelle Brandon of Moorhead, who says she is “perhaps a bit too excited” for the movie’s release.

The marketing director at the Lake Agassiz Regional Library in Moorhead and mother of two children – both of whom are too young to have yet read the book, Brandon sees several reasons why “The Hunger Games,” and the rest of author Suzanne Collins’ series, has become so popular.

“I think all ages can relate to situations that appear to be out of one’s realm of control, be it at work, home or a societal issue,” Brandon wrote in an email. “ ‘The Hunger Games’ characters try to exercise control over situations that are beyond them.”

What’s more, she says, themes in the book that characters grapple with, such as trust, love, manipulation and truth, are also things that adults, both young and old, deal with on a daily basis.

And although the book has been criticized for its violence, Brandon says she doesn’t see much of a problem with that – because when the characters fight each other to the death, their motivations are relatable. In a way, this serves to make the violence more understandable.

After tearing through all three books in the series, Brandon has been looking forward to the movie adaptation for some time. Even so, she says she plans on avoiding the expected sold-out shows and huge crowds the first couple of nights of its release.

Instead, she’ll likely find a babysitter for her kids and go to a matinee on Saturday or Sunday.

“Christmas is for the kids, let them have it first,” she wrote.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535