Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins


Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins

When Suzy's father is called to war in a faraway jungle, she struggles to deal with his absence. Why did her father have to go? When will he return? And will she even recognise him when he does? As the months go by, measured by the arrival of postcards and the passing of holidays, Suzy's father starts to feel further and further away. Suzanne Collins, the internationally bestselling author of the HUNGER GAMES series, has created a powerful and moving story based on her own childhood. With her signature ability to touch readers' hearts, combined with James Proimos's bright and friendly artwork, here is a book that will speak to any child who has had to spend time apart from a loved one


Collins, well known for her middle-school and YA fantasies, offers here a radical change of pace in this picture book story inspired by her own childhood, documenting the year young Suzy's father goes off to the Vietnam War. At first, the prospect doesn't sound all that bad to a rising first-grader with little grasp of time; how long could one year be? Additionally, Dad is headed for the jungle, and some of Suzy's favorite animals live (at least by her reckoning) in the jungle. A year turns out to be a very long time, though, especially when postcards come only sporadically, people's efforts at cheering her up only fill her with heretofore unconsidered anxieties, and Dad's brief missives seem increasingly distanced and confused. Theirs is a happy-ish ending--Dad does come home, although he looks different. Tired and thin and his skin has turned the color of pancake syrup. . . . He stares into space. He is here but not here. Collins

's rich in the telling details that establish the pervasive fear ( So many things are scary now ) that spills over into other aspects of the little girl's life--getting a birthday card from Dad that should have gone to her sister, being showered with too much Halloween candy from a sympathetic neighbor, having a terrifying experience of being tossed into a local swimming pool. Proimos'

-lined, digitally colored illustrations are the pitch-perfect tonal complement to Collins

-eyed, childlike cartoons that carry on with daily life in crayon-bright hues, while young Suzy's angst-filled imaginings take shape in full-spread, full-bleed gray-tone scenes that twist her innocent favorite animals into recurrent nightmarish motifs and symbols of war. With text and illustrations that invite close reading, this will be a powerful title to share with children well beyond picture-book age. - The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books starred review

About the Author

Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for children's television. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She has worked on several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. She received a Writer's Guild of America nomination for co-writing the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! and most recently she was the head writer for Clifford’s Puppy Days.

Suzanne made her mark in children's literature with the New York Times–bestselling Underland Chronicles, which started with the acclaimed book Gregor the Overlander. In The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins continues to explore the effect of violence on those coming of age. She was inspired to write The Hunger Games when an idea formed whilst she flicked between television channels broadcasting real war coverage and reality television programmes.

The Hunger Games and the sequel Catching Fire have been successfully brought to the big screen.

Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

NEWS UPDATE: Hunger Games publisher Scholastic have created a fabulous free newpaper for teens featuring a variety of their fantastic teen titles. Click here to have a read.

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Book Info


40 pages


Suzanne Collins
More books by Suzanne Collins

Author's Website


Publication date

11th September 2013



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