The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins

Review by Katie Thomas, teen librarian at theWarren Township branch

Did you ever wonder what happened in Panem before Katniss Everdeen? Travel back 65 years when a young Coriolonius Snow, an academy student, is assigned to be a mentor to a tribute in the 10th Hunger Games. At first, he is unhappy that he is assigned to District 12 tribute Lucy Gray, who looks like she is a long shot. However, her winning personality makes her stand out, and Coriolanus comes up with a plan to use that to his advantage. He is determined to help his tribute win the games, cementing his place in the Capitol.  

This prequel is a look at what the world of Panem was like right after the war, when the whole country was still rebuilding. It was fascinating to learn more about what really happened to shape the world that Katniss Everdeen was born into.  I was happy to see the world more fully fleshed out, with things explained that I had been wondering about.  It was interesting to see inside Coriolanus’ head. His character is fleshed out a lot more than in the “Hunger Games” books, giving the audience a glimpse into how he became the cruel President Snow. I was very excited to revisit this world. I also enjoyed seeing how different the 10th Hunger Games were from the 75th and how characters like Coriolanus helped to shape that. This was a very gripping read, as I was eager to see what would happen next. I highly recommend this book for any fans of the “Hunger Games” books.