A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Prequel to the Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
* * * Stars (Pretty good)
This prequel to the Hunger Games series introduces young Coriolanus Snow (who later becomes the President of Panem), struggling to maintain his family’s standing in the Capital while contending with hunger and poverty and the political machinations of his rivals. As part of his education, Snow and his classmates are given an assignment to mentor the tributes of that year’s Hunger Games. This is new to all of them and there aren’t any rules or examples to follow. Snow’s tribute Lucy Gray isn’t expected to do well, but together they formulate a plan that plays to both of their strengths. Maybe the Districts aren’t as different as most Capital citizens believe. Young Snow is actually somewhat relatable, though his experiences and choices begin to show more of the man he will become. Unfortunately.
You might not be sure that you needed to read/hear this story, but it is pretty gripping and for a time it was possible to see Coriolanus Snow in a better, more flattering light.
Reviewed by YA Librarian