The Hunger Games is a series of young adult dystopian novels written by American author Suzanne Collins. The first three novels are part of a trilogy following teenage protagonist Katniss Everdeen, and the fourth book is a prequel set 64 years before the original.
The novels in the trilogy are titled The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), and Mockingjay (2010). Each was adapted for film, establishing The Hunger Games film series, with the film adaptation of Mockingjay split into two feature-length motion pictures. The first two books in the series were both New York Times best sellers, and Mockingjay topped all US bestseller lists upon its release. By the time the film adaptation of The Hunger Games was released in 2012, the publisher had reported over 26 million Hunger Games trilogy books in print, including movie tie-in books.
The Hunger Games universe is a dystopia set in Panem, a North American country consisting of the wealthy Capitol and 13 districts in varying states of poverty. Every year, children from the first 12 districts are selected via lottery to participate in a compulsory televised battle royale death match called The Hunger Games.
The 13th district was also subjected to this, but they led a rebellion against the Capitol and brought them to surrender. Since District 13 specialized in nuclear weaponry, the Capitol quickly surrendered and agreed to a peace deal. They both agreed that the residents of District 13 would all move underground and the land above would be bombed to make it seem like the Capitol had won.
The novels were all well received. In August 2012, the series ranked second, exceeded only by the Harry Potter series in NPR’s poll of the top 100 teen novels, which asked voters to choose their favorite young adult books. On August 17, 2012, Amazon announced the Hunger Games trilogy as its top seller, surpassing the record previously held by the Harry Potter series. As of 2014, the trilogy has sold more than 65 million copies in the U.S. alone (more than 28 million copies of The Hunger Games, more than 19 million copies of Catching Fire, and more than 18 million copies of Mockingjay). The Hunger Games trilogy has been sold in 56 territories in 51 languages to date.
A prequel novel, titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, about the early days of the Hunger Games, featuring a young Coriolanus Snow as the protagonist, was released on May 19, 2020.