The Seventh Raven

HMH. Mar. 2021. 192p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780358252115.
Gr 6 Up–In an isolated, idyllic forest, Jack and his wife, Jane, live and work in a small cottage. They have seven sons, six of whom are strapping young lads with the same name as their father. The seventh son, Robyn, however, is too quiet, creative, and different to fit in with the family. Each night, Jack and his wife pray for a daughter, and one fateful day, their prayers are answered. Tragically, the girl is born gray and still, and in desperate pain and anger over his loss, Jack curses his sons, calling them no better than carrion birds—ravens. In a burst of magic, the boys transform on the spot, and Jack’s daughter is brought to immediate, pink health. Although the six young Jacks are miserable in their new avian lives, Robyn finds freedom in flight. As their sister, April, grows up under a pall of smothered tragedy, she soon resolves to find her brothers and bring them home, but will Robyn ever wish to return? Elliott brings emotional depth and poignant verse to the Grimms’ “The Seven Ravens.” This beautifully evocative tale weaves different poetry forms to great effect, achieving short, intense bursts of emotion and deep, wandering musings on identity and fate. Cai’s haunting illustrations add context and visual interest to many of the poems. Although the setting and events may belong in a fairy-tale, the core emotions of this work draw straight from reality.
VERDICT A stirring selection for any fantasy collection, this book will appeal to fans of Emily Carroll and Phillip Pullman.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing