'Hunger Games' Prequel Novel Is Called 'The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes'

This past summer, we learned Lionsgate was already keen on returning to the world of The Hunger Games by adapting the forthcoming prequel novel from author Suzanne Collins. Now we have more specifics on the story this book will tell, and we also have a title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, the prequel story focuses on the events of the 10th Hunger Games as Panem is still recovering from the war that happened 10 years before. The story will begin on the morning of the reaping of the 10th Hunger Games.

Considering the history of the world established in the first Hunger Games novel, a prequel novel was inevitable, especially with so many other iterations of previous Games that we haven't seen. The world-building provides ample opportunity and space for spin-offs that don't need many (if any) of the characters from the original book series to show up.

In a press release from Scholastic, President Ellie Berger said:

"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."

The Hunger Games Prequel

Along with the press release came the first image of the book's cover, which continues using the symbol of the mockingjay, this time situated on a branch wreath that resembles the original logo, this time with a snake curled around part of it. David Levithan, VP, Publisher, and Editorial Director for Scholastic, commented:

"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. The mockingjay has returned, but at a new angle . . . which is very much in line with the story that Suzanne Collins is telling."

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will arrive on shelves on May 19, 2020, but as of now, we have no idea how quickly Lionsgate intends to get a movie off the ground. However, when news of the prequel first being adapted surfaced, chairman Joe Drake said, "We've been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie." So fans may not have to wait very long at all.