For the first time in a decade, it's time to return to the dark and dangerous world of Panem. Back in June, Scholastic and author Suzanne Collins announced that the universe of The Hunger Games would be expanding in 2020 with the arrival of the franchise's first prequel novel. Now, a few months later, the title of the new book has been revealed, along with its cover, teasing the downfall of society that led to the events of The Hunger Games.
Scholastic announced on Friday that Collins' new book is titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The novel will be published in print, digital, and audio formats in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand on May 19, 2020. There will be 2.5 million copies in the first printing.
The cover includes the classic mockingjay that graced the covers of the previous books, this time on a branch with a snake. Check it out below.
"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."
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will take place 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered to take her sister's place as her district's tribute in The Hunger Games.
"With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival," Collins said when the book was announced. "The reconstruction period 10 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."
"It has been thrilling to see the growing excitement from readers around the globe for this new Hunger Games novel." said Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade. "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."
Are you looking forward to reading this Hunger Games prequel? What do you think of the title and cover? Let us know in the comments!
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arrives on May 19, 2020.