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A Song Below Water: A Novel (CD-Audio)

Staff Pick Badge
A Song Below Water: A Novel By Bethany C. Morrow, Andrea Laing (Read by), Jennifer Haralson (Read by) Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the A Song Below Water series.

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


Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s listeners — a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, 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.

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Teen

“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 national bestselling author. Her young adult novels include A Song Below Water, A Chorus Rises, and the Little Women remix, So Many Beginnings, and she is editor/contributor to the young adult anthology Take The Mic, which won the 2020 ILA Social Justice in Literature award. Her adult novels include Mem, and the social horror, Cherish Farrah. Her work has been featured in The LA Times, Forbes, Bustle, Buzzfeed, and more. She is included on USA TODAY's list of 100 Black novelists and fiction writers you should read.

Praise For…

“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

“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 and Summer Bird Blue

“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 A Blade So Black and A Dream So Dark

“A lush, colorful, and deeply moving masterpiece. An irresistible and perfectly bewitching read that I couldn't put down!” —Jay Coles, composer and critically-acclaimed author of Tyler Johnson Was Here

“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 and finalist for the John W. Campbell Award

“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 For a Muse of Fire and The Girl from Everywhere

“Morrow seamlessly blends timely topics with timeless myths in a story that will convince readers of the power of their voice.” —Parker Peevyhouse, author of The Echo Room

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250755025
ISBN-10: 1250755026
Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Language: English
Series: A Song Below Water