Juvenile Award: Favourite Bookish Kid – Katniss Everdeen
The majority of the books I read are YA and since most of those novels consist of characters that are 18 and under I deal with a lot of kids. Okay, that last part kind of sounds like something a school guidance counsellor would say so let’s rephrase. I spend an unhealthy amount of time invested in the love lives of children – nope, that’s not any better! Moving along swiftly… what I’m trying to say here is that making this decision was much harder than I thought it would be. However, *clears throat* after much deliberation I decided to go with, Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
Yes, let’s take it back to 2008 when this dystopian world was all any of us were talking about. With the harsh setting, cruel leaders, dire straits and a mandatory game where kids kill other kids – it’s no wonder we couldn’t stop raving about this book.
But another reason – a very big reason – why this trilogy was so successful were the characters, specifically Katniss. She was a strong, no nonsense kind of girl, which I think stemmed from the forced responsibility of taking care of her family. When her father died, instead of falling apart like her mother did, Katniss rose to the challenge and taught herself how to hunt and survive so she could fend for her family.
Survival was her priority which left no room for the irritating whining and pettiness we sometimes get with a heroine. However, her need to survive never overrode her humanity. Even after the Hunger Games she always strived to do what she thought was best for everyone, in spite of how the games physically and emotionally scarred her.
Katniss taught me that even against all odds and bouts of hopelessness I can choose to be good. With life throwing so many curveballs at us it’s easy to shut it all out and numb ourselves, until eventually we get to the point where we’re unaffected by most things. The problem with that is that we expect others to follow suit. Stop being a cry baby, grow up, get up and move on; if pieces of your humanity get lost in that rushed process then so be it. It shouldn’t be this way and when I feel like I’m about to fall into that pattern I remind myself: Katniss managed to still have goodness and empathy after killing to survive and having her loved ones be killed. My life may be shitty at times, but at least I’m not leading a revolution, you know.