I am a teacher at a Pupil Referral Unit and always on the lookout for exciting books to engage my students. However, although their interest is in teen/adult themes, many have a low reading age - on average about age 9 years. Would they find this book simply too difficult to read?
I'm not sure The Hunger Games is suitable. The writing style is quite simple, but the content is rather grim. We're talking about a protagonist who saw her father blow to pieces by a mine, who gets thrown into a 'game' where kids 12-18 kill each other. The author doesn't describe every single detail, but it isn't glossed over either. The heroine gets hurt quite badly and the most important supporting character sustains an injury that almost kills him. As for teen/adult themes, if you mean romance there isn't much of that and what's there is really one-sided. I'd rather recommend the Harry Potter books, as the level of writing goes up over time (just as the character's ages) and this allows your students to progress in a steady pace along with them. It never gets too hard to grasp, but then again, it's been a while since I was 9.
I would agree with Elin. However, are you talking about the students reading age or actual age? I think a student with a reading age of 9 years would struggle with the book but would be gripped by the story if they were older in actual years. Harry Potter is a good series to build up reading skills, as Elin says, the level of writing goes up over time. I think if the students are older then give it a try - nothing to lose and possibly a great gain.