ReviewsThe Seventh Raven, Chlorine Sky, Me (Moth), and Ice!...

The Seventh Raven, Chlorine Sky, Me (Moth), and Ice! Poems About Polar Life – Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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As regular readers know, I am the first judge in the Cybils Award in the poetry category. Because of this, I have been reading a lot of verses lately! I am not allowed to share any details about our process of selecting the finalists, but I am allowed (and recommended) to review the books while reading, so I thought of sharing four of them with you today. I hope these bite-sized reviews will suffice to feed your fictional addiction!


Bite-sized reviews on Cybils candidates: The Seventh Crow, Chlorine Sky, I (Moth) and Ice!  Songs about polar lifeThe Seventh Crow By David Elliott
illustrator: Rubina Kai
Posted by Clarion Books March 16, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, recurring numbers, verses, young
Pages: 192
source: The publisher
Cover artist: Jonathan Bartlett
My rating:
5 stars

Best-selling author David Elliott examines the eternal themes of balance, transformation and restoration in this provocative story about a girl who will stop nothing to turn a curse that has turned her seven brothers into crows.

And these are the boys
Of the good Jack and the good Jane
The eldest is Jack
And the next one is Jack
And the third is called Jack
And the fourth is known as Jack
And the fifth says he’s Jack
And they call Friday Jack
But the seventh is not Jack
The seventh is Robin
And that’s his story

When Robin and his brother become crows through an unfortunate curse, a nurse is their only hope of returning to being human. Although she has never met her brother, April will not stop at anything to restore their humanity. But what about Robin, who has always felt a greater affinity for air than for the life involved in his family’s land?

David Elliott’s latest novel in verse examines the unintended consequences of our actions, no matter what our intentions, and is full of powerful messages teased from a Grimes legend. Stunning black-and-white illustrations throughout by Rubina Kai.

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The Seventh Crow Is a unique verse novel because it is all written in an official verse. Most verse novels are written in a free verse or a combination of a free verse and a formal verse. In this book, Elliott uses Rondau, Onegin houses, duo pairs and a few other obscure forms. It will probably constitute or break the book for people, but personally, I loved it. Formal singing has a flow that rolls from the tongue and begs them to speak aloud (which I did more than once when I read this book). The story is a remake of “The Seven Crows” from the Grimm brothers, which I did not remember entering the book, but when I read excerpts from the original story they came back to me. Elliott brings the story to life in emotional and evocative detail. While April struggles to save her brother from an unfortunate fate, Robin relishes a sense of freedom he has never felt in life that he was “supposed” to live. I found myself drifting on their journeys. If you can appreciate an official verse, this book is sure to turn you on, just as it did me. I loved every minute of the reading experience!

*** Due Diligence: I got this book from the publisher through Media Masters Publicity so I can provide an honest review. No compensation is given and all opinions are mine. ***


Bite-sized reviews on Cybils candidates: The Seventh Crow, Chlorine Sky, I (Moth) and Ice!  Songs about polar lifeChlorine Sky By Mahogany L. Browne
Posted by Crown books for young readers on January 12, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, verse
Pages: 192
source: library
Cover artist: Kgabo “Saint Rose” Mametja
My content rating: YA (Bullying, Racism, Sexual Harassment)
My rating:
4 stars

A novel in verse about a young girl growing up and coming out of the shadow of her former best friend.

She looks me hard in the eyes
My knees are locked in tree trunks
My eyes do not dance like a pulse pounding
They stare straight back at fiery daggers.
I remember things will never be the same.
I remember things.

Mahogany to. Brown submits a novel in verse about broken promises, quick rumors, and when he grows up it means moving away from your best friend.

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Chlorine Sky Tells a story of finding a way to become famous in the world between broken friendships, difficult family relationships and complicated dating relationships. Skye just wants to live her life – play basketball, swim in the pool and hang out with her one and only friend, Lee Lee. But when Lee Lee just sits next to her and laughs when a guy calls Skye ugly and stupid, Skye knows things are changing in ways she can not control. When faced with her girlfriend who ignores her, she also has to fend for herself in the face of her sister’s negative comments and the racist and misogynistic aggression that comes from guys who don’t like the fact that she can beat them in every basketball game. Sky’s instinct is to hide from the world, but she remembers the words of her coach, who always encouraged her to take a seat. Ultimately, Skye needs to accept this advice so that it does not get lost behind the influx of great personalities around it.


Bite-sized reviews on Cybils candidates: The Seventh Crow, Chlorine Sky, I (Moth) and Ice!  Songs about polar lifeI (moth) By Amber McBride
Posted by Feiwel and Friends on August 17, 2021
Genres: Verse, young adult
Pages: 256
source: library
Cover artist: Rich Dias
My content rating: YA (Death of family members, depression)
My rating:
5 stars

Moth lost her family in an accident. Although she lives with her aunt, she feels lonely and displaced.

Until she meets Sonny, a boy who is also looking for his roots. If he knows more about where he is coming from, perhaps he will be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then maybe she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.

Moth and Sonny go on a trip that makes them chase ghosts and look for ancestors. The way everyone progresses is surprising, powerful and memorable.

Here is an excellent and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways in which our memories and our roots lead us in the universe.

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This book explores both African-American roots and Native American roots and the ways in which these roots were severed by American culture and exploitation. My favorite aspect of the book is the absolutely amazing verse. Honestly, I just loved every minute of reading the book because the poetry flows so beautifully and the images are wonderful. I got into the story without reading the description, and I’m so glad I did because I was surprised by what happened in the end. (Actually, I left the first line of the Goodreads segment because it’s a total spoiler – I think it’s a little weird that they market it that way.) Moth and Sonny find each other in their darkest moments, and each continues a journey of self-discovery – and a literal journey , Together. As they travel, they share stories about their families and fathers. And they teach each other to heal. I really loved this exciting and heartbreaking book!


Bite-sized reviews on Cybils candidates: The Seventh Crow, Chlorine Sky, I (Moth) and Ice!  Songs about polar lifeice! Songs about polar life By Douglas Florian
illustrator: Douglas Florian
Posted by Holiday home on December 1, 2020
Genres: Reference books, picture book, verses
Pages: 48
source: library
My rating:
4 stars

Funny poems combined with intriguing facts introduce young readers to the fascinating creatures that live in the polar regions of the earth.

A Kirkus reviews The best book of the year!

The far north and south poles – which the poet Douglas Florian calls our Earth’s refrigerator – are home to a wide variety of unusual, rare creatures that are seen in them, including caribou, penguins, cowboys, narcissus and many more! Young readers will love learning about these polar inhabitants and the ways they have adapted to their cold, stormy and frozen environments.

Whimsical, colorful art and humorous songs present more than a dozen polar animals, and touch on the unique characteristics of the polar regions. Funny and instructive, the book ends with an inspiring read for action on climate change, reminding us of our responsibility to take care of our planet.

ice! Songs about polar life Explores key scientific concepts such as adaptation to animals, daydreams, global warming and interdependence on songs full of rhyme, rhythm, figurative language – and a huge dose of humor!

Artist and author Douglas Florian is known for combining poetry, art and science in books that have wit, imagination and aesthetic sensitivity.

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ice! Is a book of pictures that shared silly songs and shared informative reference. All the art was created by the author in a distinctly childlike style that uses fun media like collage and pencils. The songs all feature silly elements like funny rhymes, invented words and game jokes about words. They are sure to make the kids happy and interested in them. There is then a reference section at the bottom of each page that provides information about the animal or area displayed. The book tells of ways humans have impacted polar life and ends with an important message about climate change. Very cute read!


This is for now! Have you read any of these? what were you thinking? Do you have any books you are looking for when it comes to Cybils Awards? I want to know!

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