Katniss Everdeen is the main character and narrator of The Hunger Games book series. She's also the main character of the movie series made off of the book series.
Katniss was born on May 8 in District 12, 16 years prior to the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss was close to her father and spent time hunting with him in the woods. There, he taught her about hunting, nature, and how to use a bow and arrow.
Katniss's father also taught her how to swim in a pond in the woods. When she was 11 years old, her father died in an explosion underground in the mines where he worked, leaving her to take care of her mother and sister. Katniss stated in the book that she still has nightmares about the explosion and the day her father died five years after. Even years after which, Katniss didn't forgive her mother for sinking into depression and leaving her and her sister, Prim, alone to fend for themselves so young.
The district gave a small amount of money to Katniss's family, allowing for a month grieving period before her mother was expected to get a job. When her mother did not get a job, Katniss was thrust into the role of provider and nurturer. She took on this role to avoid allowing her mother to be deemed an unfit mother, which would send herself and Prim to the community home.
She volunteered to participate in an evil game that was made to punish the districts for rebelling, where 24 teens fight to the death, taking Prim's place who was reaped for the Hunger Games.