We’re going back into the Arena.

That’s right — a prequel to author Suzanne Collins’ massively successful Hunger Games trilogy is coming in May 2020, and Scholastic has just announced the book’s title, cover art, and brief description.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place 64 years before the events of the first Hunger Games novel (putting it at around the 10th Hunger Games), and follows the nation of Panem in the reconstructive years — known as the Dark Days — following the war that tore society to shambles.

ballad of songbirds

Source: Scholastic Books

Not much else is known about the plot of this new sequel, but I’m willing to bet we follow more young tributes as they fight for survival on a national stage.

However, maybe this time it won’t be through the eyes of the tributes themselves, but through the eyes of a parent who survived the war, the aftermath, and now the consequences. My theory is that this novel will take a more explicitly political edge and will use the recency of the war to speak on the birth of an oppressed nation.

The title is interesting, albeit an unusual choice for a Hunger Games novel. I expected something a little more snappy and mysterious, but I can see where this is coming from. We’re sticking with the bird theme here (also, random side note — I wasn’t a fan of the title “Catching Fire” either, but it was definitely recognizable).

They’re also using a similar design to the original Hunger Games covers and iconic mockingjay pin, so maybe we’ll get to see where the origin of those came into play.

I’m really excited for this new novel and see where Collins’ goes with this idea. I will be interested to see how it compares to the original trilogy!

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon now, and in hard copy on May 19th.

Tell Us: What do you think of the new title & cover art? What do you think will be the plot of this new story?