The New Hunger Games Prequel Book Is 'The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes'

The Hunger Games movie franchise, which starred Jennifer Lawrence and were based on the books by Suzanne Collins, has earned $3 billion at the worldwide box office to date. A new book is set to released next year. Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.

Are you ready to go back to Panem, Tributes? The new Hunger Games prequel book is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and it's coming faster than you think to a store near you. The first Hunger Games book since 2010's Mockingjay, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes lands in stores on May 19, 2020. The book has a world English first printing of 2.5 million copies, which means this is expected to be a huge seller.

Set 64 years before Katniss volunteered for the Hunger Games, the new Hunger Games book centers on competitors in the 10th Hunger Games. In a Friday press release from Scholastic, author Suzanne Collins said she wanted to use The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes "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."

When The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was announced back in June, Tributes wondered whether the new Hunger Games book might follow Mags — the winner of the 11th Hunger Games and one of Katniss' allies in Catching Fire. Although Collins' new release will focus instead on the competition before the one in which Mags became a Tribute, there's still a chance fans may get a look at the youthful version of the beloved character when Ballad lands in stores.

'The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,' the first The Hunger Games book since 2010, will be released in May 2020. Photo courtesy of Scholastic.

"This cover does an extraordinary job of capturing the conflict—both inner and outer—that lies at the heart of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes," said David Levithan, VP, Publisher, and Editorial Director for Scholastic, in a press release. "The mockingjay has returned, but at a new angle... which is very much in line with the story that Suzanne Collins is telling."

You can now pre-order The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, out on May 19, 2020.