‘Mockingjay’: We’re Judging ‘Hunger Games’ Book Three By Its Cover

For those of us who devoured Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire,” August 24 feels eons away. That’s when the third installment of the empowering post-apocalyptic story of reality-TV-star-turned-revolutionary Katniss Everdeen hits stores. On Thursday (February 11), Scholastic revealed the title, “Mockingjay,” and cover of the book.

Now, book covers are often pretty misleading, but seen next to the previous two books in the series, we can glean a couple of things about the theme of “Mockingjay.” SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t read those two …

“Hunger Games” shows the mockingjay pin Katniss wore into the arena, where she fought other teens to the death and managed to buck the system and save the life of fellow District 12 contestant Peeta, becoming a national symbol of rebellion against the Capital to everyone watching from home. The bird image is abstract, like what one would expect of a piece of jewelry. Its head is bowed (like the oppressed people of Panem) but it clutches an arrow, Katniss’ most powerful weapon both in the arena and at home, where she hunts illegally to feed her family.

On the burning-red cover of “Catching Fire,” the bird has more detail, as if it’s coming to life. It appears in the center of a circle, but it doesn’t just seem like the pin that many people in Panem have taken to wearing to show their subtle allegiance to the uprising. The circle is divided into sections, like the rotating arena in which Katniss, Peeta and the other victorious tributes are forced to relive their old Hunger Games nightmares. The bird also looks like it’s in the center of a target, just as Katniss believes she’s been targeted for assassination by the Capital.

This new “Mockingjay” cover is sky blue, a color that feels a lot like hope and freedom, especially when paired with a more realistically drawn bird that appears to have broken free from the circle, with its wings outstretched. When we last saw Katniss and her old crush Gale, they were on a hovercraft headed to the promised land of District 13, while the rest of Panem was in an all-out revolution. The people were clearly ready to spread their wings, but if we know anything about this trilogy, we know that they will have to fly far and dodge quite a few bullets before they’re home-free.

As for any insider knowledge about the book details, Scholastic only offered some very funny quotes from editorial director David Levithan about what wouldn’t be in the book. Judging by the list, he’s a big fan of MTV, so I’m holding out hope we will get “HG” scoop from him eventually.

What do you think of the new cover? Do you have any theories about what will happen in “Mockingjay”? Share them here!

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