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
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781338635171
Characteristics: 517 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Ballad of song birds and snakes
Call Number: Y COLLINS, S


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#1. A Douglas County Libraries top checkout in 2020.

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pacl_teens Jun 17, 2021

"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was written by the bestselling author Suzanne Collins, as a prequel to the Hunger Games series. The story goes back in time and tells the story of President Snow, or known before as: Coriolanus Snow. The timeline is set to the tenth annual Hunger Games. The Snow family once held prominent status in the Capitol, but due to unfortunate circumstances, the family was on the verge of collapsing. The future of the Snow family was in the hands of Coriolanus, specifically, it depends on whether or not he could become a mentor for the winning tribute in the tenth Hunger Games. Fate played a huge joke on him when he gets assigned to mentor the tribute from the twelfth district, a girl named Lucy Gray. His personality was forced to transform because in order to survive, cruelty wasn’t optional, it was necessary.

I was so surprised when this book came out because I never thought that I’d be able to sympathize with an antagonist like Snow. In the Hungers Games series, I wanted nothing more than to see him beaten. I thought that he deserved no sympathy. But in the course of reading this novel, I found some closure to Snow’s story line. His actions are somehow justified: every villain used to be someone else. It was a little mind blowing, seeing the character development of Snow, from a young man who was just trying to support his family, to a cold tyrant that ruled Panem.

I would recommend this book to Hunger Games fans. The plot is so much easier to follow if you have background on the Hunger Games series." -Kelly, Grade 11

May 27, 2021

In my opinion, there are so many characters that it is basically impossible to follow the plot. And I'm not one for violent and dark stories.

May 15, 2021

What I haven't seen anyone else mention I'll quickly carp about. The page numbers start repeating from time to time. For instance 2 x 338 !! (as one example). I therefore don't have a clue which page I'm really on. BTW, this doesn't mean the pages are repeated, just the numbers!

This is a good prequel to the Hunger Games books. I have a feeling it would NOT lend itself well to a movie but, I could be wrong.

woermkeja May 14, 2021

I have a love and hate relationship with this book. I was so excited to dive back into Panem and loved the concept of the storyline. I was intrigued to find out how Snow had managed to become the man we know him to be. I found that the book missed the mark a little bit when it came to explaining his personality though. I love Lucy Gray as a character and found most of the characters so well fleshed out. The ending just felt very rushed for me.

May 02, 2021

So good, it is amazing how the author connected it to the hunger games books.

Apr 16, 2021

I'm reading right now.
P.S. read the dead and the gone along with the rest of the series
(I want to make a suggestion read the maze runner (it's great .))

Apr 15, 2021

I really enjoyed another book that had the Hunger Games in it. Suzanne Collins does an excellent job of keeping my interest in her books. Coriolanus and Lucy Gray were the main characters, but there were several more characters that were interesting, too.

Apr 09, 2021

Coriolanus Snow, 18, is preparing for his one chance at glory as a coach in the Hunger Games at the start of the tenth annual Hunger Games. He's been assigned the humiliating task of mentoring the lowest of the low tribute from District 12. Their fates are now inseparably connected. This is a book that Suzanne Collins decided to publish, about a decade after the last installment of the Hunger Games, Mockingjay. I was looking forward to reading this book because I was curious as to what else Collins had to add ten years after the ending. Alongside this, I was excited to see how this book would play out since it was about President Snow who was known to be the face of the ruthless Capitol’s dystopian government. I found this book not as exciting as the Hunger Games trilogy as it felt pretty slow and dull at times. However, it was interesting how Suzanne Collins wrote 18-year-old Snow’s character. She didn’t justify any of his actions or outright write him as a villain but instead makes the point that villainy does not emerge out of thin air, and there might not be a single point at which someone becomes evil, it’s just a series of actions that may lead down that path. I would recommend Hunger Games fans to read this book because it was interesting to read more about Snow as well as read the Hunger Games in a different style and tone.

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about reentering the world of the Hunger Games, but I enjoyed it immensely. I love how Suzanne Collins can work such structure into her novels and mixes the familiar with the new. What drives this from an engrossing, intense read up to the level of a fave for me is the moral philosophy that Collins weaves through her words.

Apr 06, 2021

The Ballad of the Songbirds & Snakes shows us the life of young Corolanious Snow. Yep! This book is about President Snow, as a teen. It explains to us why he turns out the way he is.
The book shows us a love story between Snow, and another girl from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird.
By the end of the story, we see how power and pride can change a person.

We get to see how the Hunger Games are formulated, how the authorities make it more interesting for the citizens of the Capital - and a lot of it is from Snow's ideas.
We meet the character, that I think, personally, shaped President Snow - Dr. Gaul.

We realize why the Capital likes the Hunger Games, because they think they suffered a lot in the war, they don't realize the Districts had suffered too.

Remember Tigris from Mockingjay? Well, she's in this story too - and if you've read the other books already, it's a surprising position she's in now, compared to later, in the Mockingjay novel.

The book is a bit slow at times, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it well! :)

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Add Age Suitability
May 27, 2021

ambietambie thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 12, 2021

blue_wolf_8195 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Mar 25, 2021

indigo_wolf_391 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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

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Add Notices
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

It's sooner than later that I'm six feet under.
It's sooner than later that you'll be alone.
So who will you turn to tomorrow, I wonder?
For when the bell rings, lover, you're on your own.

And I am the one who you let see you weeping.
I know the soul that you struggle to save.
Too bad I'm the bet that you lost in the reaping.
Now what will you do when I go to my grave?

Mar 25, 2021

“That is the thing with giving your heart. You never wait for someone to ask. You hold it out and hope they want it”

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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