Bird on Fire by Jane Wells Genre: Non-Fiction, Devotional Publisher: David Crumm Media LLC Published Date: November 10, 2013
Everyone’s heard of The Hunger Games. Right now, the sequel, Catching Fire, is the number one film in the U.S. The actors are all over every news channel doing interviews and anyone connected with Hollywood is seeing them on entertainment websites. It is a full-fledged in your face phenomenon that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
This series about a young girl who has literally been sacrificed to her government in some of the most horrifyingly violent situations imaginable isn’t exactly family friendly entertainment. Though the series was written for grades 7 and up, some seriously heavy topics are covered and Suzanne Collins does not step away from the gruesome or frightening in her telling of it. Murder of children by other children. Rape. Starvation. Sex trafficking…these books are rife with topics that are directly connected to today’s headlines.
So even though they obviously are not Christian books or films, are there still potential Christian messages to be found? In Bird on Fire, Jane Wells presents us with well thought out discussions of themes that are prevalent in the stories, but that line up with Bible based beliefs.
With everything from plot points to specific character discussions, Wells has compiled a thought provoking list of points for Christians to consider when being entertained by this series. Rather than tearing it apart and telling us why we shouldn’t watch, she offers us potential discussion with our teens, friends, and neighbors that might open doors to share the gospel in a new way.
I enjoyed this book. These weren’t huge stretches that would cause you to look sideways or play a game of Twister to make the connections. They were easily shareable with even younger kids in a way that could open the doors to sharing the gospel or even opening doors for Biblical discussions you might not have imagined. With this book, it’s possible you could have a family film night with these movies and have a good, solid, discussion of a Biblical basis afterward.
I do need to caution here that if you haven’t read the books or watched the films and don’t have an interest, it’s not the best idea to watch them solely for the purpose of having these discussions. I see this book as a tremendous tool that’s of great value for people who have already read or watched this series. It gives new insight and can open up some great conversations. But I don’t see this book as a reason TO sit down with your kids and watch the films or read the books. This is a heavy series with really difficult topics to navigate. Wells sheds some beautiful light on the story and gives us a new perspective that is greatly appreciated if you have already experienced this series.
Hats off to Wells for her insight, research and giving us a Biblical view of this very worldly series!
Rating PG-13: There’s no problem with the material Wells presents, but the discussions of the plots, characters, etc. from the books is on material that is definitely PG-13 and above.