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A Song Below Water: A Novel (Hardcover)

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A Song Below Water: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
On Our Shelves Now
15 on hand, as of Sep 21 6:45am
(Young Adult Novels 12 and up)

Staff Reviews


A Song Below Water blends the real world with fantasy to beautifully illustrate the need for sisterhood in the face of racism and misogyny. ASBW centers on sisters Tavia and Effie as they navigate life as Black young women in a world trying to silence them. Tavia is a siren passing as a normal teenager, gathering the courage to speak up for herself and the rights of others like her in the face of national persecution and state-sanctioned violence. Effie is a mermaid (or at least she plays a mermaid at the Renaissance Faire every year). As she prepares for the new season, suddenly mysterious events of her past seem to recur, all while Effie faces some physical changes, the least concerning of which being her hair moving on its own. As the political world around Tavia and Effie increasingly mirrors our own, the girls must decide where they stand, and embrace what makes them different to stand up for what’s right. Tavia and Effie, may have fantastic powers, but they are still real girls. The fantasy of Morrow’s world is not metaphoric. Rather, she wonderfully blends the real with the supernatural to paint a nuanced picture of what it means to grow up as Black women in contemporary America. ASBW is a timely read that will become a timeless addition to the bookshelves of YA Fantasy lovers.

— From Jenni's Picks

Description


Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s readers — a captivating modern fantasy about black sirens, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism.

In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.

Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.

Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.

“An enthralling tale of Black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” — Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles

About the Author


Bethany C. Morrow is a recovering expat recently returning from six years in Montreal, Quebec, to live and write in north country, New York.

A California native, Bethany graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Sociology. Following undergrad, she studied Clinical Psychological Research at the University of Wales, Bangor, in Great Britain before returning to North America to focus on her literary work.

She is the author of the adult novel Mem (Unnamed Press) and the editor of the young adult anthology Take the Mic (Arthur A. Levine Books). A Song Below Water is her debut standalone young adult novel.

Praise For…


“Morrow expertly and smartly explores race, bigotry, oppression, and injustice against a backdrop of ordinary life with a dose of the supernatural added to the mix. A Song Below Water is a must-read for lovers of fantasy and contemporary stories alike.”Booklist, starred review

“Morrow has deftly woven a contemporary tale with mythical elements to take on the invisibility and marginalization of Black women, touching on issues such as misogynoir, body image, social justice, and generational trauma. Empowering and innovative. Morrow elevates mermaids and sirens to ­legitimate and compelling vanguards for social change.”School Library Journal

"From sirens to mermaids to sprites and gargoyles, the magic is familiar — but different enough to be exciting. Morrow... tackles anti-blackness and white supremacy head-on, while still giving Tavia and Effie the space to be realistic, flawed teenagers. In this magic-infused version of America, having a voice is literally a superpower — a powerful message for the times we're living in."NPR

“A watery and melodic crossroads of the real and the mythic, A Song Below Water lures readers with its seductive and beautifully black siren song. An enthralling tale of black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” — Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series

“I love this book so, so much! Bethany C. Morrow delivers a blistering modern classic with this gorgeous tale of friendship and power. A Song Below Water somehow manages to be intensely happy and sad at the same time and all in the balance of great, riveting storytelling. The best YA novel I've read all year.” — Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper

“Morrow masterfully blends the real lives of Black girls in contemporary Portland with a mythic world of sirens, gargoyles and other supernatural creatures to create a compelling coming-of-age story in which two sisters, bound by love and fate, find their voices and their power.” —Rebecca Roanhorse, Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Award Winner, author of Trail of Lightning and Star Wars: Resistance Reborn

“Empowering and full of surprises, A Song Below Water reminds us how important it is to use our voices, even when we’re afraid. Morrow has created a world that’s both familiar and brimming with fantastical creatures, and the result is timely, necessary, and utterly captivating.” – Akemi Dawn Bowman, award-winning author of Starfish

“A rich, intricate dive into mythology, misogynoir, and the way the world makes black girls out to be monsters. Like the siren's song, A Song Below Water is irresistibly compelling.” —Heidi Heilig, award-winning author of The Girl from Everywhere

“The world is lush and intense, the voice intoxicating, and the message eternal. Morrow will have you under her spell from page one.” — L.L. McKinney, author of the Nightmare-Verse series

“A compelling tale packed with endlessly inventive magical concepts, blazingly current social commentary, and heroines you'll fall hopelessly in love with. I'm obsessed.” — Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex series

A Song Below Water is a lush, colorful, and deeply moving masterpiece about mythology, the sometimes masked evils of racism, and all the ways the world hurts black girls. An irresistible and perfectly bewitching read that I couldn't put down!” —Jay Coles, composer and author of Tyler Johnson Was Here

A Song Below Water is a captivating tale about the magic of sisterhood and the importance of being seen for who you truly are.” —Parker Peevyhouse, author of The Echo Room

“An exciting new contemporary fantasy. In this parallel world, black female empowerment is standing up for yourself and others while simultaneously navigating love, physical and emotional violence, and the responsibility of immense supernatural power.” —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250315328
ISBN-10: 1250315328
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Pages: 288