Suzanne Collins, author of the bestselling The Hunger Games series, has written a new installment to add to that highly successful trilogy. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be released May 19, 2020, Scholastic announced Friday. The cover art complements the designs of the previous books while also adding a new color to the signature solid-hued lineup.
Ellie Berger, the President of Scholastic trade, said in a statement that the novel “raises important questions about authority, the use of violence, and the truth of human nature.”
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will take place 64 years before The Hunger Games, starting the morning of the reaping (where that J. Law “I volunteer as tribute” scene took place) of the tenth Hunger Games. Collins said of the book that she 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 follows in the line of other authors who have expanded their universes after worldwide commercial and onscreen success. J.K. Rowling has expanded Harry Potter to the Fantastic Beasts franchise that’s been hit with criticism and even despair from devoted fans. Arguably more successfully done is Margaret Atwood’s follow-up to the 1985 The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, which was released earlier this year. Like both, Collins’ book has hit screens before and will again: A film adaptation is already in the works. We’ll have to wait till May to hear fan reactions to the novel, but at New York Comic Con today, they seemed pretty excited about it:
See The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’s uncropped cover art below.