Student readers enjoy 'Hunger Games' movie in Fort Kent

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2 May 2012

FORT KENT– Over 200 Fort Kent Community High School students attended a special screening of “The Hunger Games” at the Century Theater on April 27.

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FKCHS teachers and administration opened this special showing up to students who had read the book and also passed a test that evaluated basic reading comprehension. A wide range of students both read the books and passed the test.

“It was a very small percentage of students who took the test and failed,” said Chouinard.

The freshman students were able to attend the showing for free because that class had the greatest percentage of students who read the book. 77 percent of the freshman class read The Hunger Games.

“Every class has an amazing percentage rate,” clarified Don Chouinard, freshman English instructor at FKCHS. SAD 27 District Librarian Jamie Pelletier said the lowest percentage of students in a class to read The Hunger Games was still almost 60 percent.

“When they read the book, they were hooked,” said Principal Dawn Dugan.

The day of the movie showing featured the best attendance rate in school for the last month, she said.

“The kids are very excited,” said Chouinard.

At the showing, students filled the movie theater and settled in to watch the movie with relatively little noise, staying quiet throughout the two-and-a-half hour film.

After the movie, many students, such as Heather Albert and Rudy Martin, said they still preferred the book over the movie, however, although they appreciated some things about the movie.

Albert said it seemed like the movie assumed that viewers had read the book. Martin said the books had a lot more information in them than the movie.

She said, "It was cool to bring to life [the book]. I like the colors, being able to see the actual emotions and the squalor... the post-apocalyptic thing."

Albert said she specifically liked the special effects for one of the monsters in the book, which she had pictured in her head as looking very different than they appeared in the movie.

"For what they could do, they did a good job," Martin said.

Martin said people her age could relate to certain themes in the story, such as "going against the status quo and doing what's right, fighting the trends and peer pressure."

Albert said, "Readers can get a more exaggerated view, an exaggerated way of trying to go against norms and be yourself." She said people could tell themselves, "If they can do it, so can I."

Both Albert and Martin commented on how the books appealed to students usually considered "non-readers."

Martin said, "Some of these guys [who read the book], you have to pin down to read a book."

Albert said it was surprising because "you'd hear conversations at lunch between guys that involved a book."

Martin described the book as "universal." She said, "No matter what you like, people could relate to it, different types of learners and readers."

About the books, Albert said, "My dad even likes them. He usually reads mysteries."

After the movie, Martin added, "It's nice to see all these people here, different types of people, to really enjoy it together."