A Chorus Rises: A Song Below Water, Book 2
By Barbara Saunders,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Girl reclaims her truth from her image in thoughtful novel.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The author uses several types of magical beings as an allegory for issues in the Black community, including "colorism" and what makes a person "Black enough."
There are always two (or more) sides to a story. Find your people -- your family, true friends, and allies.
Positive Role Models
When the main character loses herself in high school and online drama, she finds herself again when she spends time with her large, loving family including the ancestors her supernatural powers enable her to communicate with. Family, in this story, is a positive foundation for values and identity.
The main character is a Black teen, and a central theme is how Black women can stand in solidarity or allow themselves be pitted against one another.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
The photos and locations of women and girls are published on social media along with rumors that encourage violence against them. People use fake profiles to launch rumors about other people.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional talk about romantic dating and breakups.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Chorus Rises, by Bethany C. Morrow, is the sequel to A Song Below Water and tells the story of the aftermath to the events in the previous book. Naema, a Black teen, is a magical creature called "eloko." Naema is an online influencer with a large following who damaged her reputation when she exposed two other Black girls as sirens. Naema leaves Portland for the Southwest, where her family lives, to regroup and figure out how to tell the world her side of the story. The photos and locations of women and girls are published on social media along with rumors that encourage violence against them. People use fake profiles to launch rumors about other people. There's occasional talk about romantic dating and breakups.
Where to Read
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
When A CHORUS RISES begins, Naema, a Black teen from Portland, is preparing to head to the Southwest to stay with family, in the aftermath of dramatic events at her high school prom. She wants to regroup and figure out how to reclaim her story from the press, movie and television producers, and her online fans.
Is It Any Good?
This is a satisfying sequel to its predecessor. In A Chorus Rises, readers learn what happens in the aftermath of the events in the first book of the series, from the perspective of that previous story's villain. Whereas A Song Below Water alternates between two points of view, this book is narrated by a single voice -- that of a girl who's very self-absorbed, and because of that, mildly annoying. The book begins with a summary of where the previous book left off, but readers who haven't read A Song Below Water might find it hard to appreciate the stakes.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the theme of privilege in A Chorus Rises. What are the areas of your life where you are privileged? In what areas do you lack privilege?
How does the quest for popularity affect the characters' relationships? Have you ever done something to be popular that you wouldn't have done otherwise?
In A Chorus Rises, the main character is an actual person, an online persona, a subject for news stories, and a character in fictional stories. When you read or watch stories based on real life, what strategies do you use to know what is factual, what's an interpretation, and what's not true?
- Author: Bethany C. Morrow
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Communication, Integrity
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
- Publication date: June 1, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 272
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: May 12, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Read
Our Editors Recommend
Thrilling Books for Teens Who Love Fantasy
Kids' Books About Social Media and Digital Life
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate