The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Book - 2020
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"Revisits the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Scholastic Press, ♭2020.
ISBN: 9781338635171
Characteristics: 517 pages ;,22 cm.


From the critics

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Mar 01, 2021

I would rate this book 4/5 stars. It is a prequel to the Hunger Games series and is about the backstory of the cold-blooded villain Coriolanus Snow. Coriolanus is an 18-year-old living in the Capitol, preparing to be a mentor to a tribute in the Hunger Games. Coriolanus’ family has fallen on hard times, and he has to try his best to mentor the winning tribute to win a full scholarship to the University. Coriolanus is also determined to outshine his fellow classmate, Sejanus Plinth, who is wealthy and well-known.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the Hunger Games series and to fans of dystopian novels. Coriolanus Snow is an intricate character who takes his public image very seriously and takes any measure to preserve it. There was some violence, but the book leaves most of it to your imagination. It was a little bit slow-moving at some points, but most of the book keeps you engaged and interested.

Mar 01, 2021

This is a worthy prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy featuring Coriolanus Snow's life before presidency over Panem. This book ends in a way that I at first believed was "unfinished," because it left room for thinking about "what could have happened." Somehow, in this book, that didn't annoy me as much as most books do when they leave the ending open to the speculation of the reader, but it made sense for the mysterious aspect to the story. Overall excellent book. Suggested for ages 13+

jcljessicaj Feb 01, 2021

The Hunger Games series is the only thing I've reread multiple times. The story is truly fascinating, and I uncover something new with each reread, so I was THRILLED to get my hands on this prequel. President Snow is such a ruthless, intriguing character, and one can't help but wonder what makes him tick. This story gives you a peek inside. I wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I just loved the story. Suzanne Collins is an incredible author. The story had me wondering, theorizing, and connecting the dots until the very last page. Now I have to read the series again, so I can catch all the call backs!

Jan 31, 2021

One word: confusing.
Or maybe it was because I skimmed it. It was personally a bit boring...
Everyone’s giving it such good reviews tho...

IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

It was fun unpacking more of Panem's history and sharing the origin of the early Hunger Games: the source of the hanging tree song, why Snow despised Katniss so much from the get-go, and how certain features of the games were implemented, etc. It was really interesting. If you’re someone who knows the original books super well, then I think you’ll get the most enjoyment out of it. There’s so many references and nods to the original books that made me so excited! I also thought Snow’s perspective was super interesting to be in and it gave us loads of information about the world of Panem.

lgmosher Jan 23, 2021

The best thing about this book was the title....
.... And little else.

Disappointment, disappointment all around!

You thought Snows character sucked in the trilogy.... Oh Collins gas taken it to a whole new level!

He not only wants to make you pull your hair out now but also BASH your head against the wall until you fall unconscious to save yourself from the boredom of this book.

I LOVED the hunger games, it's one of my go to references... But honestly, I'm hoping I can forget that this happened.

It was a lot of nothing happening..... I felt like I was at the DMV waiting for my number to be called. Sure, the workers look busy... But they're really playing solitaire instead of calling my number.

---- boring ----

She set herself up for failure because her trilogy was just so great. Move on to another story and leave the hunger games to be the wonderfulness that it is.

Aaaannnnnddddddd.... I'm just gonna be real for a moment, no one NOT ONE read the hunger games and went

"huh, I really want to know more about Snow".

Nah, we all wanted him to die a 100 deaths *shrug* sucks to suck Snow.

Just, don't bother.... It ain't worth it.

Jan 22, 2021

Amazing book, almost as good as the original series.

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.

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!

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Age Suitability

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IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

IndyPL_TammieB thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 26, 2021

edbodnar thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 22, 2021

CalebCulbertson thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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

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Oct 23, 2020

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

Oct 23, 2020

Frightening or Intense Scenes: heck ton of violence. descriptive and disturbing violence.

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
IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

“Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.”

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
IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

This books is a prequel to the original series. In this story, President Snow is only Coriolanus Snow. His family has fallen on hard times in popularity and survival and he has a chance to bring them back to their glory. He is a mentor in the Hunger Games and hopes to help bring a tribute to a win. Unfortunately, the odds were not in his favor. He is humiliated to be assigned to mentor the tribute from district 12. Will he lead her to victory? Will he help her survive? Will he actually begin to care about his tribute?

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