The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins has captivated readers and movie-watcher alike for more than a decade. With the publication of A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, you may be looking for a re-read, or perhaps you never read the books in the first place. So what is the best way to read The Hunger Games books in order?
First, we’ll list The Hunger Games series according to both publication order and chronological order. Finally, we’ll list out the proper Hunger Games movie order for those who like to watch the films after reading the books.
The Hunger Games Books in Order of Publication
- The Hunger Games (2008)
- Catching Fire (2009)
- Mockingjay (2010)
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020)
The Hunger Games Books in Chronological Order
The Hunger Games Movies Order
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Movie
After looking at The Hunger Games movie order above, you may be wondering why there is no Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. At the time of this writing, the movie is still in the planning phases.
Not published until Summer 2020, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place 10 years after the original trilogy came to an end and 5 years following the dismal conclusion of the movie franchise.
Based on how poorly the final Mockingjay movie was received, you may be surprised to hear that there even will be a movie for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. But in August 2021, Lionsgate announced that production on the film will begin in 2022 for a late 2023 or early 2024 release.
The Hunger Games Summary
The Hunger Games is a dystopian series of books that depicts Panem, a corrupted, perverted, and debased nation, that consists of twelve major districts, and an underground 13th district. The Capitol hosts a televised competition annually that exerts controls over the twelve districts.
This annual game involves the selection of tributes: a teenage male and female aged between the range of twelve and eighteen years. Each of the twelve districts would appoint two tributes, who will compete with 22 other tributes.
Kill or die. Participants have no choice but to comply if they want to live. The Hunger Games only crowns one winner. All the rest must perish.
The Hunger Games revolves around a 16-year-old, Katniss Everdeen, who resides in District 12 who volunteered to participate in the 74th annual Hunger Games in place of her 12-year-old, younger sister, Primrose Everdeen.
She finds herself in a dilemma, where she has to survive between 22 well-trained tributes from other districts, and her childhood friend, Peeta from her district.
You can read The Hunger Games books in order in two separate ways: publication and chronology.
The Hunger Games Books
For simplicity, in the descriptions below, I’ve listed the Hunger Games books in order of publication.
1. The Hunger Games
Every year, the twelve districts of Panem that are beholden to the Capitol must participate in a tournament known as the Hunger Games to remind them of their place in society. Each year, two children are selected at random to fight to the death in an arena.
Katniss Everdeen has kept her head down, avoiding the attention of the Capitol and she’s almost free. That is until her sister, Primrose, is chosen during this year’s Reaping. Without hesitation, Katniss volunteers to save her sister.
2. Catching Fire
Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.
Katniss and Peeta have survived the Hunger Games. They get to go home, but Katniss is far from happy. Nothing is as it was, and the attention of the Capitol is on her greater than ever. President Snow will stop at nothing to put her in her place after the stunts she pulled at the Hunger Games.
It’s the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Every 25 years, special rules are introduced to “spice things up.” And this year? This year, Snow made up the rules just to get at Katniss. For the first time ever, all the tributes will be previous winners of the Hunger Games, chosen at random from each District’s pool of winners.
But District 12 only has one female winner. And that means Katniss is going back to the Capitol.
Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But through the chaos of their escape, Peeta was left behind and now the Capitol has him.
Sheltered in District 13, a district everyone thought destroyed, Katniss must become the face of the rebellion and stop the Capitol once an for all, hopefully saving Peeta in the process.
4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a Hunger Games prequel that follows a young President Snow. Except he’s not President and only 18 years old. It’s the 10th Annual Hunger Games and Coriolanus Snow finds himself as tribute.
Looking for more books in order?
Check out my list of the Twilight Series in Order.