ATLANTA (WXIA) -- "The Hunger Games" has now topped the box office numbers for three weeks in a row. The futuristic drama about young warriors fighting to the death is based on a series for young readers. The Associated Press reported Monday the book was also tops on the list of books parents wanted libraries to consider banning.
Is the story too violent for kids? At a conference on the prevention of youth violence last week, Martin Luther King III said the movie was an example of what's troubling in America. He said while the movie may have a redeeming message in the end, it's too bad it had to be built around a fight to the death.
"I would much rather have the top movie be a love story, or a story about a family," King said. "It's just that part of it, that specific part of it where you fight to the death that is troubling to me."
Krista Gilliam is a store manager at the Little Shop of Stories in downtown Decatur. She's read the series twice and also seen the movie twice. Gilliam said parents come in to the store all the time asking whether the books are suitable for their kids. The store policy is to advise them to talk it out with children, and shoot for 11-12 years old as an appropriate age to handle the story. She said violence is a part of life, and in the story it's meant to illustrate a nightmare scenario that could eventually exist.
"There are situations similar to this, there are governments that are oppressive, it's reality," Gilliam said. "There is pain, there is violence in the world and I think it's important to recognize that and be able to talk about it intelligently."