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Are you wondering, How many Hunger Games books are there? The answer is four. Below you’ll learn what they are, what order to read them, and more so that you can properly enjoy this bestselling series.

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infographic showing the four the hunger games books in order with publication dates.
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How Many Hunger Games Books Are There?

There are four total Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins. They are The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), Mockingjay (2010), and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020).

The first three books (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) make up a trilogy, and the final book published ten years later, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is a prequel that takes place decades earlier.

Order of The Hunger Games Books

The publication order of The Hunger Games books is:

  1. Hunger Games (2008)
  2. Catching Fire (2009)
  3. Mockingjay (2010)
  4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020)

The reading order of The Hunger Games books can be in the order of the publication date (as listed above), or the reader may choose to read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which is a prequel that takes place several decades before, first.

The prequel delves into Panem’s history, so it depends on whether you want to learn about the history of the fantasy land first, or let the action unfold as it was written (which most readers do).

If you read the prequel first, be forewarned that some things will be spoiled for you. That being said, if you struggle with learning and understanding new fantasy worlds, then learning the background in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes first may be a good choice for you.

More Details About All Hunger Games Books

The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins on a table in a bookstore.

The Hunger Games novels by Suzanne Collins are New York Times bestselling books that have sold over 100 million copies to date, thanks, in part, to their popular movie adaptations starring Jennifer Lawrence, including the recent 2023 film release of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. These Young Adult books begin by following teenager Katniss Everdeen in a dystopian world in which children fight a televised battle royale similar to that of gladiators.

Before becoming a bestselling author, Collins wrote for children’s television, including Nickelodeon shows.

Let’s explore the basic plots of each of the four books in The Hunger Games book series!

There are some very general plot spoilers below since the descriptions of books in a chronological series are discussed.

The Hunger Games (2008; Book 1 of 4)

“When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

This famous first line begins The Hunger Games, a book series of four dystopian young adult novels set in the futuristic totalitarian nation of Panem, which is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol.

Each year, one boy and one girl from each district are selected as “tributes” to participate in a televised event in which they must fight for survival in a vast outdoor arena until only one remains.

This story follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen from District 12, who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place. Through her story, themes of survival, inequality, and war are explored.


Catching Fire (2009; Book 2 of 4)

Catching Fire continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, who, after winning the Hunger Games, returns to her home in District 12.

But, all is not the same. She has caused controversy in the districts and the Capitol, leading the Capitol to announce a special edition of the Hunger Games, the Quarter Quell, in which Katniss and Peeta Mellark must compete again.

Here, politics, power, and rebellion are explored more deeply.


Mockingjay (2010; Book 3 of 4)

In Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen has become “the Mockingjay” — the symbol of a rebellion against the Capitol.

Now, she must lead the Districts in a full-fledged war against the Capitol and confront everything from love to loss in her epic quest for justice. Here, in addition to power, the moralities of war are explored more deeply, along with the trauma brought upon by it.


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020; Book 4 of 4)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel set 64 years before the events in the first three Hunger Games trilogy of books.

This book provides the backstory of the history of Panem with a focus on a young Coriolanus Snow, before his ascent to President of Panem, and it provides the factual foundation for the tyrannical character he became in the stories involving Katniss Everdeen.

Here, the seeds of the themes of power and rebellion are planted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there 4 Hunger Games books?

Yes, there are four total Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins. They are The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), Mockingjay (2010), and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020).

Is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes a prequel?

Yes, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins is a 2020 prequel to the three other Hunger Games books, which were published in 2008-2010.

What is the correct order of The Hunger Games books?

The correct order of Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins in order of publication is: The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), Mockingjay (2010), and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020).

How many books are in The Hunger Games book series?

There are four total Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins. They are The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), Mockingjay (2010), and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020).

Is The Hunger Games 3 or 4 books?

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins is a four-book series. It was originally written as a trilogy (The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), and Mockingjay (2010)). However, Collins later published a prequel called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020).

What order do I read The Hunger Games books?

Most readers read The Hunger Games books in order of publication: The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), Mockingjay (2010), and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020). However, since the final book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is a prequel it may also be read first instead of last.

Conclusion

If you came here wondering, “How many Hunger Games books are there?” then, you have learned that the answer is four. In order of publication, they are: The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), Mockingjay (2010), and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020). Generally, they are read in this order, however, since the final book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is a prequel, it may also be read first instead of last.

You can buy the Hunger Games books separately or as part of a set.

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