We Are the Song

Holiday House. May 2022. 304p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823448890.
Gr 3-7–Music has an otherworldly power. What if there was an ethereal place where music is magic and singers and composers were highly revered? What would happen if songs were manipulated for evil? Twelve-year-old Elissa is a rare accomplished singer in fairy-tale–like Cadenza. When the king of Cadenza died without an heir, it sparked a world war. For the past two years, Elissa and her composer Lucio have been traveling performers, gifting small acts of hope and goodwill to the common people with their songs. On their journey, Elissa experiences firsthand how power corrupts. Bakewell’s middle grade fantasy novel weaves mythology with Baroque backdrops replete with Christian connotations: Elissa resembles Joan of Arc guided by a goddess named Cae. While music lovers will appreciate all the harmonious vocabulary and sonorous celebration, this title lacks the romance and strong chemistry of friendship that other fantasy novels carry. It also comes off as pontifical at times. Otherwise, it’s a sweet fantasy work with an independent female lead.
VERDICT An alluring fantasy exploring the influence of music, the importance of listening to one’s own voice, and knowing who your friends are.

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