Hunger Games

Hunger - coverHunger: Understanding the Crisis Through Games, Dramas, and Songs

Submitter: This is a book of literal Hunger Games by an author whose last name is Sprinkle. You just can’t make this up. The idea of the book is to help church-goers and likeminded folks better understand the experience of hungry people. There are bingo games for kids, as well as the attached activities. I find the drama interesting; Jane, the “active churchwoman” actually tells the long-haired young man to cut his hair to find a job. Spoiler, she dies at the end, goes to heaven, and gets a bread crust, an empty jar, and an old bathrobe. There’s also a song called “We plough the fields with tractors.”

Weeded from an academic library. Last circulation: ILL in 1987. Browsed in 1993. Not applicable to any academic program at the university… and probably not of lasting interest for students, faculty, or staff, either.

Holly: What does listing on a placemat what Jesus ate (second image below) have to do with learning about people who have nothing to eat?

Hunger drama

Hunger placemat


  1. The library can always turn the book into compost to nourish the soil to plant the crops to feed the hungry.

  2. Patricia Houck Sprinkle doesn’t include this title on her website…DKW.
    A play? How does this incorporate the Platinum Rule or even the Golden Rule? This is a book for the well-fed. I guess she never read any of the many books by Dorothy Day on providing hospitality to those in need of food. I know Dorothy Day never wrote any plays on hunger but her friend Eugene O’Neill probably never wrote such plays either.
    I think I’ll keep studying Dorothy Day to engage in this hard work of hospitality; Patricia Sprinkle is first a fiction writer.

  3. This is WTF even by the standards back then. I would have looked at this in the 70s and agreed with Holly about the placemats. Not sure about the bingo either.

    Couldn’t you just, I dunno, have the kids skip a meal or two, snacks, and sugary drinks and tell them “Now think about if you felt that way all the time! Also, Jesus said you need to help the poor!”

    I’d have preferred Jane go to hell (an even better lesson) but having to sit around with a ratty bathrobe and an empty jar while all the actual good people are having milk and honey with Big J isn’t bad. Props for standing up for the long-haired man, and for asking for diverse casting.

    Still. No reason for the placemats or the tractor song.

  4. I’m very impressed by a library that tracks how many times a book was “browsed” in over thirty years!

    1. How is that tracked? Particularly when it wasn’t fully computerized and all the books were paper.

      1. Guessing that library’s staff do a brief processing of all books in the book drop off cart before reshelving them.

      2. We have had computer tracking for our Voyager ILS since 1999. 2023-1999 = 24. Doesn’t seem a long time ago, but then suddenly it is- eek! (Says the man who has been there for 23 of 24 years. lol) My prior library job saw the collection automated by 1997.

      3. We have a “marked use” function in Sirsi for things that were used in the library but not checked out.

    1. I will bet you all the money in my pocket (about a buck in spare change), if anyone ever did that placemat thing, someone had pork and corn/tomatoes/potatoes on their list. And cheeseburgers.

      1. HA! & LOL
        and shellfish and all nightshades made with phosphoric acid and transfat oils

  5. Hate to tell you all, but even pretty good Sunday School materials haven’t been updated a lot since then. The teens do get to do maybe get to do a 24-hour famine if there are any (teens) at church, to raise money for the hungry (or they did back before the pandemic, maybe not any more), but the younger kids get stuff almost as ridiculous as the placemat. I know that as someone who went to Sunday School back then and has taught it pretty regularly since (as a teen, in university, and now middle-aged).
    The curriculum I liked best as a kid is now mine to teach, and the only thing that’s really different in 2023 vs 1987 is that there’s a website to download it from, and the copyright date. It’s still slightly better than this book, but it was that in 1987.
    I often ditch the materials and use stuff from work (at a nice modern public library), when we’re doing issues that aren’t just Christian/Anglican.
    No, a public library doesn’t need it, but I bet it’s in a lot of church offices and church libraries, and is still getting used.

    1. Maybe those churches need to teach concepts such as Liberation Theology or use books by “uppity” (to the control freak bishops) nuns like Helen Prejean and Joan Chittister and Thea Bowman ooo and art work from the IHM sister Corita Kent and toss in the bibliography of Dorothy Day for good measure.

      1. Maybe they are OK as they are, and have teachers who can teach, with good books (along with The good book) if they have them, and without them if they don’t.

    1. Well, with a choice to read Hunger or The Famine I’d choose Subversive Habits by Shannen Dee Williams. …..nah….you know for my mental health.

    2. Is ‘putting on a blindfold’ an option?

      Hunger is probably much shorter and no purple prose, so I’d take that over Famine Taming.

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