The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Book - 2020
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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, NY : Scholastic Press, 2020
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781338635171
Branch Call Number: YA FICTION COLLI...S
Characteristics: 517 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Ballad of song birds and snakes
Notes: Series numeration from


From Library Staff

The prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy tells the story of President Coriolanus Snow the man we love to hate.
I enjoyed this book because it gave me insight into the life of Snow and the root causes of his
villainous behavior. -Jasmine

From the critics

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SAPL_Teens Jan 20, 2021

We all know the horrendous President Snow. The one that had no heart, who tried to kill Katniss many times, encouraged the slaughter of youth, and murdered Prim. Well, he wasn’t always this way. This sequel to the Hunger Games trilogy dives into the origin story of one of the series most hated characters. Did you know Snow started off dirt poor. He kept a good name and reputation using charm. A slippery one. He is a snake after all, weaving words and looks. Saying what the people want to hear. Manipulation is an easy task if it means survival. Suzanne Collins took my breath away more times than I could count in this twisted story. There are so many things I wish I could warn you about before picking up this novel. It will play with your emotions and make you question whose side you’re on. I can only advise that you keep your wits about you. And remember; May the odds be ever in your favour. 3.5/5 stars - SAPL Read It & Review Contributor

Jan 20, 2021

I am so in love with this book I am hesitant to start something else. I loved The Hunger Games, but found this to be almost better. Between the characters and the world building it was really well done, and even though the ending was a bit rushed and very "wait, what's happening" it explains a lot about him and their future.

FPL_CassieW Jan 16, 2021

This Hunger Games prequel really allows the reader to see Snow in a different light. Now I must re-read the series!

Jan 04, 2021

With this book being a prequel, I have to say it was amazing. Knowing what Snow had to go through I view him in a different way now.

Dec 28, 2020

As an adult reader of the original trilogy, I thought this was an interesting read. It drags for long stretches, but then slams the reader with bits of wisdom and truth about power, popularity, and human nature. Neatly ties into the trilogy which I have been inspired to go back and re-read to find all the connecting threads.

Dec 24, 2020

Lots of adventure, a bit of slasher and blood.

Dec 23, 2020

This prequel to Hunger Games is about teenage Snow, the future-to-be president of Panem. The book is written in third person, which makes it more streamlined and clean-cut than the original trilogy of Hunger Games. Yet, the story is more subdued, and you won't find the same intensity of the trilogy. It is not exactly a page turner, but I assure you will not be disappointed by the ending, much like that in Mockingjay. If you liked reading Hunger Games, you would enjoy this book.

Dec 08, 2020

As an adult who enjoyed the original trilogy, I found this prequel FANTASTIC. It's a very unique pro, centering a novel around a villain, and fittingly it's a wild ride as he develops from an average (even sweet at times) youth to megalomaniac. I did not find a single part "boring," as some reviewers felt, and as that's a subjective - I rather felt each and every paragraph was literary genius painting a deep portrait.

Dec 07, 2020

Gripping and shocking are the best words to describe this book. You empathize with Coriolanus in the beginning and feel pity for his situation. But at the end you realize you have been empathizing with an extremely unreliable narrator. A mad man who tried and maybe succeeded at murdering his girlfriend, who he told us he was in love with. And set his friend up to be hanged. In reading this book you will see and choose for yourself how bad people and situations can affect someone, even if their soul was black from the beginning. Coriolanus Snow is a villain, as we all know. But this book tried to trick us into taking his side, and it almost worked.

Nov 22, 2020

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

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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

May 23, 2020

blue_dolphin_7378 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Add Notices
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."


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