Everything We Know So Far About The New Hunger Games Novel

Suzanne Collins’ long-awaited addition to the Hunger Games Trilogy, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is set to be released on May 19, 2020. 

Although it looks as if the story of Katniss and Peeta won’t be continuing, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a prequel to the world of Panem as we know it. The novel is set 64 years before the “The Hunger Games” and will begin on the morning of the reaping of the 10th Games.

The book was known as the “Untitled Panem Novel” until the official title and book cover were released at New York Comic Con on Oct. 4, 2019. 


Fans weren’t too sure whether this installment of the series would ever be released. When the movie franchise ended in 2015, Collins wrote a letter in which she said, “Having spent the last decade in Panem, it’s time to move on to other lands.” However, it seems that she could not stay away from the world of the Hunger Games for long. 

“With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival. The reconstruction period ten 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,” Collins said

Scholastic President, Ellie Berger, said the novel “raises important questions about authority, the use of violence, and the truth of human nature.” 

The iconic Mockingjay has returned on the cover of the fourth novel. David Levithan, the vice president of Scholastic, has discussed that the angle of the Mockingjay has a deeper meaning within the story that is being told. Levithan has not elaborated on this, leaving fans curious about the deeper meaning that is rooted within the illustration. 

Each book cover in the trilogy has symbolized the story that is being told. In “The Hunger Games”, the Mockingjay represents the pin that is given to Katniss before the Games. This later becomes a symbol of independence from the control of the Capitol. In “Catching Fire”, the clock-like illustration behind the Mockingjay is meant to represent the structure of the 75th Hunger Games— in which the arena operated in the format of a clock. In the third novel, “Mockingjay”, the symbol represents the idea of Katniss breaking away from the Capitol and fighting to become free.   


“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is currently available for pre-order. Its first printing will be limited to 2.5 million copies.



Edited by Madison Greer