The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Book - 2020
Average Rating:
Rate this:
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined, every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute, and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2020
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781338635171
Characteristics: 517 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Ballad of song birds and snakes


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 22, 2020

love it. there are some boring parts. in general, tho, gripping and exciting!

Nov 16, 2020

When I first heard of the new prequel to the amazing Hunger Games series, I was ecstatic, and after reading, I was not disappointed. The book follows Coriolanus Snow, as he is a mentor of a tribute in the 10th Hunger Games. It shows his history, as he plays a major role in the original Hunger Games Series. This prequel also shows the evolution of the Games, and how it came to be so popular. It includes many references to the Hunger Games and explains them further, and on a deeper level. Reading this book made me very happy, as I love The Hunger Games books and was so excited to find out that there were more. When reading this book, there were some parts that I found quite slow, yet there were also parts that I could not put the book down. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games series. @teen_reader19 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Nov 15, 2020

Boring Boring Boring

Nov 08, 2020

Ohmigosh, an 18-yr-old Snow as protagonist??? Whyyy choose the point of view of a murderer instead of almost anyone else living in the same time/place??
Even as a young man he was so self-centered, bigoted, lacking in empathy, and sooo calculating already. Friends, love, and other people's lives were all less important than his control/power/status.
Agh, I wound up reading it all anyway just because the world back-history and other characters were interesting...sigh...

Nov 07, 2020

The story "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" is about a top-performing student at the academy, and one of the selected people for being a mentor for the Hunger Games competition, which is Coriolanus Snow. He came from a well known wealthy family, but over time, they had slowly faded into commoners. Doing a good job at being a mentor could spot him at the University, which could allow him to receive a better job than a commoner. The mentor’s job is to guide a tribute and come up with strategies to have the upper hand in the Hunger Games competition, a free for all last one standing fight to the death battle of tributes from each district. It is the 10th Hunger Games, and there is a new system that allows tributes to have a mentor for the games. Coriolanus’s tribute is Lucy Gray Barid, a tribute from the district known for having bad contestants, District 12. Before the Hunger Games began, bombs were placed and ignited at the arena as a protest/rebellion against the Hunger Games. About 13 tributes and mentors died from the bombing, making it the first time that so many tributes had died before the games had even begun. I really enjoyed the first 300 pages or so of this book, so about a little bit after the Hunger Games competition ended. This was because I felt like the resolution/plot of the story after the Hunger Games weren’t that interesting for me at least. However, the Hunger Games competition itself was really entertaining and intense, and the descriptive words matched how the story was told in the original “Hunger Games” book. Overall, I would suggest this book to 6th grade and up, for it is pretty easy to read, and the content is great.

Nov 04, 2020

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book because I had heard mixed reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised when I read it for myself. I thought it was a very interesting prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy that provided a really interesting insight into the life of President Snow. I liked reading about what had happened in his life leading up to the events of the main trilogy and thought it was pretty good. If you liked the Hunger Games, I’d recommend checking this prequel out too.

Oct 20, 2020

This prequel to the bestselling Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins has been her best yet, I would say. The story follows Coriolanus Snow, who is chosen to mentor one of the tributes in their 10th Hunger Games. He has hopes of being the mentor of the winning tribute, which would grant him his university tuition, free of cost.

As stakes grow higher and Coriolanus and his District 12 girl tribute's fates intertwine, this page-turner of a book has readers all over hooked!

I really liked how TBOSAS incorporated things we've seen from the other three books, and elaborated on them. As a prequel, it did a fairly good job of expanding on their dystopia world, and showing what happened, 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games.

Hunger Games fans, dystopian, action/adventure fans might enjoy this book.

Oct 11, 2020

My comment is going to echo a lot of them on here. I Blazed thru the 1st 3 Hunger Games and have read them/watched the movies more than I care to admit ;) When I learned about this I immediately placed a hold and waited 8 months. I've read it ... I liked the history and Easter Eggs and I can see the author is setting herself for at least 2 more books as this was the 10th Games and Katniss came along in the 74th... A lot of changes happened ie: Feeding, housing and presenting the tributes did a complete 360... So those of us that enjoy this saga will most likely be compelled to at least check out the next but it did not come close to the 1st 3 - In My Opinion.

JCLKelseyR Oct 02, 2020

A prequel to the Hunger Games series. Focuses on Snow as a teenager, recruited as part of a team to revamp an unexciting Hunger Games tradition by mentoring tributes. This is a very interesting book for the history and character development of Snow, however, lacks the "big action" fans of the series have come to expect from the books and movies.

This is hands down Suzanne Collins' best novel set in the Hunger Games universe. On a technical level, it is superior to all of her previous efforts and you can tell she has grown as an author since the original novel. The biggest gripe I have is that the ending of the novel is extremely fast-paced and wanders in numerous directions in the last twenty pages. I am not sure if Miss Collins genuinely did not know where she wanted to go, or if she was trying to confuse the audience.

As far as the content goes, I loved every bit of it. I was a tad annoyed at some of the plot contrivances, and I won't spoil anything, but Corilanus Snow is set up as a surprisingly sympathetic character. Villain origin stories almost always tend to outshine the heroic perspective and that is certainly the case here.

I hope there is a sequel, and that it concludes less rushed than this one.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Oct 23, 2020

Ninja_kitty thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 26, 2020

DOITLIKEAPRO thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Hannah Acabal
Sep 11, 2020

Hannah Acabal thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 26, 2020

Jessicading_0 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Aug 15, 2020

JHope24601 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jul 26, 2020

blue_dog_42057 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 24, 2020

minhanhp04 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

OPL_KrisC Jun 13, 2020

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 07, 2020

cchaitu thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 25, 2020

jepompilio thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

View All Ages


Add Notices
Oct 23, 2020

Coarse Language: a**, jack***, p**s

Jul 24, 2020

Violence: Very bloody, but good overall

Jul 21, 2020

Violence: This book contains blood, killings, slasher, thriller and horror. But if it was in a movie, it would be even worse (14+).

Jun 08, 2020

Violence: Like the original Hunger Games trilogy, this book features lots of gore and violence, as characters are killed, hit, battered and bloodied, tortured, and hanged. However, I wouldn't say it's very vividly described, instead, it leaves many details to the imagination.


Add a Quote
Oct 05, 2020

"Down in the valley, valley so low,
Late in the evening, hear the train blow.
The Train, love, hear the train blow.
Late in the evening, hear the train blow.

Go build me a mansion, build it so high,
So I can see my true love go by.
See him go by, love, see him go by.
So I can see my true love go by.

Go write a letter, send it by mail.
Bake it and stamp it to the Capital jail.
Capital jail, love, to the Capital jail.
Bake it and stamp it o the Capital jail.

Roses are red, love; violets are blue.
Birds in the heavens know I love you.
Know I love you, oh, know I love you,
Birds in the heavens know I love you." - Lucy Gray

Hannah Acabal
Sep 11, 2020

"Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping."


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at HCL

To Top