Summary: Chapter 7

It is the first day of training. For three days, the twenty-four tributes will all practice together, then on the final afternoon they perform in private in front of the Gamemakers, the officials who run the Games. Haymitch asks Katniss and Peeta if they want to train together or separately, in case one has a secret skill she or he might not want the other to know about it. Peeta already knows Katniss is an excellent hunter, and Katniss feels surprised at the thought that Peeta must sometimes think of her. Ultimately they decide to train together. Haymitch wants to know about their strengths. Katniss’s is obviously with a bow, and Peeta is strong and an excellent wrestler. But Peeta feels he has no chance. He says Katniss has no idea the effect she can have, and his mother even praised Katniss over him, calling her a survivor. Katniss says she couldn’t have survived without Peeta, and from Peeta’s reaction she realizes he remembers giving her the bread those years ago. Haymitch tells them not to reveal their strengths until the private session with the Gamemakers and to be sure they’re always seen together.

At training, Katniss watches the other tributes. Almost all are bigger than her, though many are clearly underfed. The tributes from the wealthier districts are all healthy. Some of them, called Career Tributes, train all their lives to compete in the Games. The training area has different stations with instructors, and the Career Tributes go right to the stations with the deadliest weapons. Katniss and Peeta go to a station where they learn various knots. Next they move to the camouflage station, and Peeta picks it up quickly because he decorates the cakes in his father’s bakery. Over the next three days, they visit more stations while the Gamemakers—twenty or so men and women—watch from the stands and take notes. Peeta and Katniss stay together the whole time, making small talk. At lunch one day Peeta explains that each district has its own distinct bread and shows them all to Katniss. In training they also notice one of the female tributes, a small young girl from District 11 named Rue, watching them.

Katniss is last to have her private session with the Gamemakers. She selects a bow from the weapons available, but it’s different than her bow at home and takes some practice before she can use it accurately. She takes a few difficult shots to impress the Gamemakers, but notices that most of them are focused on a roasted pig that’s just arrived at their table. She becomes furious, knowing her life is at stake in the Games, and fires an arrow straight toward the Gamemakers that skewers that apple in the pig’s mouth. Then she walks out.

Summary: Chapter 8

As soon as she leaves she begins to panic, wondering if they will punish her for her defiance. The Gamemakers score the tributes from one to twelve based on their performance, and Katniss is certain her score will be very low. That could make it difficult to get sponsors, and their gifts are critical for survival in the arena. She locks herself in her room and doesn’t come out until Effie calls her to dinner. At the table, everyone wants to know how Peeta and Katniss did. Katniss tells her story, and everyone is shocked but Haymitch, who finds it amusing. When the scores are announced, Peeta gets an eight and Katniss gets an eleven. She’s stunned, but Haymitch says they probably liked her temper.

In the morning, Katniss lies in bed for a time after waking and thinks of when she first met Gale. She was in the woods hunting and saw several rabbits hanging from snares. When she went to inspect them, Gale came forward. She’d seen him before: his father died in the same mine blast as hers and they both attended the memorial. They talked about hunting at first, and over time they became a team. Katniss thinks of how close they are and misses him. She has with Gale what she pretends to have with Peeta. Effie calls her down for breakfast, and when she arrives at the table, Haymitch says there’s been a change in strategy: Peeta has asked to be coached separately.

Summary: Chapter 9

Katniss feels betrayed by Peeta but also relieved they don’t have to keep up the appearance of being good friends. In preparation for a televised interview she and the other tributes will be doing the next day, Katniss goes with Effie for instruction on “presentation.” Effie makes Katniss wear high heels, corrects her posture, and tells her to make sure she’s always smiling. It’s important that the audience like Katniss. Next, Katniss meets with Haymitch. He says the impression she makes may determine what sponsors he can get her, but she comes across as hostile. Haymitch tries to get her to seem friendly but eventually gives up. Katniss has dinner in her room that night and smashes dishes in a rage. The redheaded Avox comes in and wipes Katniss’s face and hands, which she cut on a broken dish. Katniss says she should have tried to save her, but the Avox gestures that Katniss would only have ended up like her. Katniss helps her clean up, then goes to sleep.