I’ll admit right off that the premise of the Hunger Games didn’t appeal to me at first, but I thought it would interest one of my students, a reluctant reader, who enjoyed books with a lot of action and strong female characters. I had to read it before I assigned it, and I was glad I did.
Peeta Mellark is definitely the reason I fell in love with this series. I think what drew me to Peeta is that he’s intelligent, creative, and kind. He isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. But his devotion to Katniss is what made me love him. He goes against his gentle nature to risk life and limb to protect the girl he loves. What could be more heroic than that?
Name: Peeta Mellark
What Does He Do? As the male tribute from District 12, Peeta is pitted against 23 other teens, including the girl he loves, in a nationally televised fight to the death.
Who Does He Love? Katniss Everdeen, tough-as-nails huntress from the Seam, has owned his heart since they were five years old.
What Does He Look Like? Peeta has wavy, ash blonde hair and blue eyes. He is broad-shouldered from lifting heavy sacks of flour and carrying trays of bread at his father’s bakery.
Why Him? Peeta’s defining quality is his goodness. He vows to never let the Capitol change who he is and works hard to keep his humanity despite what he endures in the arena. Though he proves in the arena that he’s strong and brave, his real strength is his eloquence. He is charming and likable, and that’s ultimately what wins over the people of Panem. He also provides stability and strength to fiery Katniss’s chaotic life.
“I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.”
“I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever.”
“Having an eye for beauty isn’t the same thing as a weakness,” Peeta points out. “Except possibly when it comes to you.”
“I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you.”
Katniss on Peeta: “To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope, and the dandelion that reminded me I was not doomed.”
“I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.”
“Sometimes when I’m alone, I take the pearl from where it lives in my pocket and try to remember the boy with the bread, the strong arms that warded off nightmares on the train, the kisses in the arena.”