9:15 am EDT, October 4, 2019

‘The Hunger Games’ prequel titled ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,’ cover, release date revealed

Scholastic has shared the title, release date, and cover for Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel.

The new book is titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and arrives May 19, 2020. The novel’s cover has a green and gold theme, with a songbird and a snake sharing a tree branch.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes cover

Scholastic says The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes “will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.”

Collins said previously about the book, “I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period ten years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”

Said Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade in a press release: “Suzanne Collins is an expert storyteller and world-builder, and in revisiting the world of Panem, she again raises important questions about authority, the use of violence, and the truth of human nature.”

“This cover does an extraordinary job of capturing the conflict — both inner and outer — that lies at the heart of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” said David Levithan, VP, Publisher, and Editorial Director for Scholastic. “The mockingjay has returned, but at a new angle . . . which is very much in line with the story that Suzanne Collins is telling.”

Scholastic first announced The Hunger Games prequel in June, at which time Lionsgate had confirmed they planned to adapt the book for screen.

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