This is a very difficult question to respond to because obviously everybody is going to have their own ideas and opinions about what is classified as an "acceptable" text and what is not. However, I would like to answer this question by pointing out some of the following facts about this novel.
Firstly, whilst it is a dystopian novel that is a very intense and exciting read, the main section of the novel deals with children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen having to kill each other. Therefore there are scenes of quite graphic violence that describe this action taking place.
Secondly, whilst sex is definitely not referred to directly in the novel, the protagonist, Katniss, spends a lot of the novel trying to work out how she feels towards the two men in her life.
These two factors, in my opinion, make this book more appropriate for High School age children rather than younger age children.
Yes, most of the 'innapropriate parts' are still quite okay for younger children and also it is a really good book to read!
YES. I read it in 5th grade. ;)p
I couldn't have said it better. From a personal perspective, since my gifted 5th grader is DEVOURING the Harry Potter series, that has the same sexual undertones and "decisions", and also has a lot of death, in MANY forms, I would add to the above comment that it depends on your child and what they have been exposed to...and how they handled it. As an English teacher, I read the same books my kids do. My eldest son read The Hunger Games, and got very little out of it. He picked up on the conflict Katniss felt over "who to love", but he was more interested when we started talking about socialism and how this book relates to that.