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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) Hardcover – May 19, 2020

4.7 out of 5 stars 42,876 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of May 2020: If you read The Hunger Games in one sitting, settle in for the long haul once more—because The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is nearly impossible to put down. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place a decade after the war between the Districts and the Capitol, and even the "winning" side is still trying to recover. For the tenth anniversary, the Head Gamemaker brings in students from the Academy to act as a mentor to each of the tributes, and one of these students is 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow—President Snow, when we met him in The Hunger Games. Snow gets assigned the girl tribute from District 12, an underdog to be sure, but Lucy Gray Baird is her own flavor of Katniss—very different in style and personality, but no less compelling. You want her to succeed. And I felt the same about Snow, who, while still arrogant and entitled, finds himself questioning the purpose of the Games and the treatment of the tributes. There's so much I want to tell you about this novel, but I really want you to experience it all for yourself, because The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is incredibly exciting, thought-provoking, and relevant. Now please hurry up and read it because I’m dying to talk to someone about this book. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review

Review

Praise for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:#1 USA Today Bestseller#1 New York Times Bestseller"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes delivers a mesmerizing look into the life of Coriolanus Snow and the root causes of his villainous behavior. Collins once again proves that she is a master of building a fascinating world around complex characters who must grapple with the complications of chaos and control and their effects on human nature." -- The Associated Press"It is a steep challenge to write a book whose hero is, everyone knows, destined to become deeply evil. Do we want to hear -- now, after we know the endgame -- that the young Voldemort was unfairly saddled with a demerit in class or that the adolescent Sauron fretted because he had to wear hand-me-down clothes? Yes, please." -- New York Times"For true fans of The Hunger Games, Collins shines most as she weaves in tantalizing details that lend depth to the gruesome world she created in the original series and Coriolanus's place in its history." -- Time"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is your apocalyptic escape from our current apocalypse." -- Vox"It's the pull between Coryo's head and heart -- and the realization that he actually has a beating heart, not just a rose-scented lump of coal -- that makes the future President Snow very worthy of a 517-page prequel." -- Washington Post"[B]y introducing a new cast of teenagers, Collins is able to raise questions about privilege, the uses of violence, and the futility of war." -- People"Collins's themes of friendship, betrayal, authority and oppression, as well as the extra layers of lore about mockingjays and Capitol's history, will please and thrill." -- MSN"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes describes how most lives are actually lived, the consequences of countless small choices that ultimately amount to a big one: not just how to feel but who to be." -- Slate"Collins reminds readers that even the most horrible people may have at one point done the right thing, but that doesn't make them any less despicable or less worth overthrowing." -- Polygon* "Both a tense, character-driven piece and a cautionary tale.... The twists and heartbreaks captivate despite tragic inevitabilities." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review"A gripping mix of whipsaw plot twists and propulsive writing make this story's complex issues -- vulnerability and abuse, personal responsibility, and institutionalized power dynamics -- vivid and personal." -- Publishers WeeklyPraise for The Hunger Games: "I couldn't stop reading." -- Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly "The Hunger Games is amazing." -- Stephenie Meyer"Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced." -- John Green, New York Times Book Review Praise for Catching Fire: "Whereas Katniss kills with finesse, Collins writes with raw power." -- Time Magazine "Collins expertly blends fantasy, romance and political intrigue." -- People Magazine Praise for Mockingjay: "Fans will be happy to hear that Mockingjay is every bit as complex and imaginative as Hunger Games and Catching Fire." -- Entertainment Weekly "Suspenseful... Collins' fans, grown-ups included, will race to the end." -- USA Today "At its best the trilogy channels the political passion of 1984, the memorable violence of A Clockwork Orange, the imaginative ambience of The Chronicles of Narnia and the detailed inventiveness of Harry Potter." -- New York Times Book Review"Unfolding in Collins' engaging, intelligent prose and assembled into chapters that end with didn't-see-that-coming cliffhangers, this finale is every bit the pressure cooker of its forebears. [Mockingjay] is nearly as shocking, and certainly every bit as original and thought-provoking, as The Hunger Games. Wow." -- Los Angeles Times* "This concluding volume in Collins's Hunger Games trilogy accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review


Praise for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:#1 USA Today Bestseller#1 New York Times Bestseller"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes delivers a mesmerizing look into the life of Coriolanus Snow and the root causes of his villainous behavior. Collins once again proves that she is a master of building a fascinating world around complex characters who must grapple with the complications of chaos and control and their effects on human nature." -- The Associated Press"It is a steep challenge to write a book whose hero is, everyone knows, destined to become deeply evil. Do we want to hear -- now, after we know the endgame -- that the young Voldemort was unfairly saddled with a demerit in class or that the adolescent Sauron fretted because he had to wear hand-me-down clothes? Yes, please." -- New York Times"For true fans of The Hunger Games, Collins shines most as she weaves in tantalizing details that lend depth to the gruesome world she created in the original series and Coriolanus's place in its history." -- Time"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is your apocalyptic escape from our current apocalypse." -- Vox"It's the pull between Coryo's head and heart -- and the realization that he actually has a beating heart, not just a rose-scented lump of coal -- that makes the future President Snow very worthy of a 517-page prequel." -- Washington Post"[B]y introducing a new cast of teenagers, Collins is able to raise questions about privilege, the uses of violence, and the futility of war." -- People"Collins's themes of friendship, betrayal, authority and oppression, as well as the extra layers of lore about mockingjays and Capitol's history, will please and thrill." -- MSN"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes describes how most lives are actually lived, the consequences of countless small choices that ultimately amount to a big one: not just how to feel but who to be." -- Slate"Collins reminds readers that even the most horrible people may have at one point done the right thing, but that doesn't make them any less despicable or less worth overthrowing." -- Polygon* "Both a tense, character-driven piece and a cautionary tale.... The twists and heartbreaks captivate despite tragic inevitabilities." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review"A gripping mix of whipsaw plot twists and propulsive writing make this story's complex issues -- vulnerability and abuse, personal responsibility, and institutionalized power dynamics -- vivid and personal." -- Publishers WeeklyPraise for The Hunger Games: "I couldn't stop reading." -- Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly "The Hunger Games is amazing." -- Stephenie Meyer"Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced." -- John Green, New York Times Book Review Praise for Catching Fire: "Whereas Katniss kills with finesse, Collins writes with raw power." -- Time Magazine "Collins expertly blends fantasy, romance and political intrigue." -- People Magazine Praise for Mockingjay: "Fans will be happy to hear that Mockingjay is every bit as complex and imaginative as Hunger Games and Catching Fire." -- Entertainment Weekly "Suspenseful... Collins' fans, grown-ups included, will race to the end." -- USA Today "At its best the trilogy channels the political passion of 1984, the memorable violence of A Clockwork Orange, the imaginative ambience of The Chronicles of Narnia and the detailed inventiveness of Harry Potter." -- New York Times Book Review"Unfolding in Collins' engaging, intelligent prose and assembled into chapters that end with didn't-see-that-coming cliffhangers, this finale is every bit the pressure cooker of its forebears. [Mockingjay] is nearly as shocking, and certainly every bit as original and thought-provoking, as The Hunger Games. Wow." -- Los Angeles Times* "This concluding volume in Collins's Hunger Games trilogy accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Scholastic Press (May 19, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 528 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1338635174
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1338635171
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 12 years and up
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 860L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 7 - 9
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.3 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.25 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 42,876 ratings

About the author

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Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for children's television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Collins made her mark in children's literature with the New York Times bestselling five-book series for middle-grade readers The Underland Chronicles, which has received numerous accolades in both the United States and abroad. In the award-winning The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. Collins lives with her family in Connecticut.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
42,876 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Arkham Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Character Study
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 25, 2020
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63 people found this helpful
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Amechatclotho
4.0 out of 5 stars A trip backwards in time - Coriolanus's POV
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2020
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Kelly McFarland
5.0 out of 5 stars A prequel worth waiting for
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars A prequel worth waiting for
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2020
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was well worth the wait for all Hunger Games. It's also a great introduction for people who have never read the original Hunger Games trilogy.

It focuses on the life of Coriolanus Snow (who in the original trilogy is a character you come to know well and dislike) it explores his younger years and the choices me hade that took him to become what he did in later books. The book also gives readers far more insight in to The Hunger Games themselves and how they came to be. Also explores more life in the Capitol which is interesting to read.

This is fantastic read for both Hunger Games fan and newer fans a like as you don't need any previous knowledge of the series to read and enjoy it.
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4 people found this helpful
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Jim J-R
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but hard to read at the moment
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 8, 2020
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Krista Kirkland
4.0 out of 5 stars Its a prequel to The Hunger Games Series
Reviewed in Canada on May 20, 2020
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