'Hunger Games' book banned, Katniss Barbie doll released

katniss-barbie-hunger-games.jpgEvery year, the American Library Association releases a list of the most frequently "challenged" books -- books that conservative readers have requested to ban from libraries, schools, and curricula. This year, Suzanne Collins' dystopian novel "The Hunger Games" trilogy is ranked No. 3 on the list.

At No.1 is Lauren Myracle's "IM" series, "ttyl," "ttfn," and "l8r, g8r." The novels, written entirely in IM format, follow high school friends as they navigate boys, drugs, alcohol, parties, driving, and college prep. No. 2 on the list is "The Color of Earth," a series by Kim Dong Hwa, a graphic novel about a young girl coming of age alongside her single mother.

It's no surprise that "Hunger Games" is a controversial series -- though it contains hardly any sex, its basic premise of children slaughtering children for sport is shocking in itself. There's a certain irony to the fact that on the day that the list was revealed -- citing "Hunger Games" as inappropriate material for young readers -- Mattel unveiled its "Hunger Games" Barbie doll.

The kid-friendly Barbie depicts Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss in her arena gear, including her iconic Mockingjay pin. She carries the bow and arrows that she used to kill opponents in the arena. The doll costs $29.95 and is available for pre-order on BarbieCollector.com, though it won't officially be available until August, when "The Hunger Games" is released on DVD.

Totally kid-friendly, until she murders Skipper.
Photo/Video credit: Mattel