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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling author of The Belles)

©2020 Bethany C. Morrow (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“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 best-selling 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)

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What listeners say about A Song Below Water

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-06-2020

Thank you.

This book was just what I needed in these heartbreaking times. I’m 53, a former high school English and drama teacher, and a white suburban woman. Bethany’s voice - and the message she is sharing through Tavia and Effie - should be heard by all women and girls. The story made me necessarily and appropriately uncomfortable at times. I have gained perspective and am grateful for that. I love the characters and the creative way of conveying such an important, metaphorically rich- while being realistic - story. Thank you for sharing your voice. I will be exploring more of your writing, and wish you all the best.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Kay
  • 31-07-2020

Not at all what I expected!

Granted, I have a terrible habit of buying/borrowing books because of the cover being appealing and not bothering to read the synopsis - 🤷🏾‍♀️ sue me. But I definitely was not prepared for all of the mythical creatures in a story that also touches on the everyday struggles of a black girl. I LOVED it . . . And I kind of want a gargoyle now 😁🤷🏾‍♀️ 4.75 stars

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  • Onika Popo-James
  • 20-10-2020

This story is so relevant!

I highly suggest listening to this book! it is full of current events affecting black and brown people today! racism, sexism and add on supernatural speciesism. Only downfall is the next book doesn't come out until 6/21. I already pre-ordered it!

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  • FutureLibrarian92
  • 26-09-2020

Keeps You Hooked

I enjoyed this book. Ren Fair, mythical creatures, mystery,social justice. It's got a litt le bit of something for everyone. 3 stars for performance because the two different voices sounded so similar, so it was difficult to tell who was speaking sometimes.

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  • Ransom
  • 15-08-2020

Real Life Parallels

I was taken by the whimsy and wonder both Effie and Tavia. This mystery was definitely worth the wait. I wish there was something like a second novel.

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  • LATOYA LEWIS
  • 11-08-2020

Just couldn't get into this one

Mermaids, Sirens, Gargoyles.......just not my cup of tea. I like all kinds of books and genres but this one, I couldn't grasp. #Book24of2020 #bookworm #whatsnext

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amey Corson
  • 15-06-2020

magical

absolutely loved this book! a magical journey that really dives deep into important topics around systemic oppression, social justice, and political activism that can be difficult to unpack - but are navigated expertly with beautiful storytelling. highly recommend for all ages!!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-08-2020

A timely read...exactly what our society needs.

A Song Below Water is exactly what our society needs more of. It’s a story of empowerment in the face of prejudice, sisterhood, and activism beginning with your immediate community. I love the connection to the Greek and West African mythology—I’m still making connections and meanings after the book is closed. Beautiful narration, all around a beautiful read. It’s been a while since I was so captivated by a book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-08-2020

Great story Bad actor choice

Amazing book, I love Black authors that write fantasy and magic, there's nothing like it. But Black voice actors would have made this MUCH better. The vernacular and certain terms aren't translated well with the chosen voices. Any Black girls that love mermaids like me should DEFINITELY read this book though.

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  • Deborah Overstreet
  • 03-08-2020

A beautiful fantasy that’s relevant to today

A Song Below Water was utterly brilliant. The social commentary was doubly poignant during this time of civil unrest, and I think it’s a must read for those who don’t quite understand the problems that the Black community face. On the fantasy side, I loved how Morrow incorporated fantastical races like sirens, elokos, and sprites into our contemporary world. I liked seeing what that would look like, of which races would be favored and which would be abhorred. I loved how Morrow sorted “fact” and “mythos” and showed how easy it would be to mix the two in order to justify prejudice. The story itself was brilliant! I loved the found sister relationship, and how their discovery of themselves was tied to their support and love for each other. The bully in the story felt like someone I knew, and it really brought the story to life to me. I could see someone being that awful because they saw themselves as all important, and I loved what happened to them in the end. I will gladly recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

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  • Emma
  • 11-08-2020

Excellent performance

Great book overall. The plot starts slowly but I was hooked all the way through the second half. Well worth a listen.

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  • J. LoVecchio
  • 24-06-2020

so good!

I have so many feelings Lots of triggery things, racial violence and oppression of minorities and parental death and lots of skin picking/trich triggers and manipulative adults But this book is so fantastic and I loved it so much even when it made me cry. The characters are rich and deep and I really hope there is more of their story

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