by Bethany C. Morrow
Set in Portland, Oregon, this young adult novel centers on 16 year old Tavia and her best friend, Effie. Tavia and Effie are both Black girls and have to deal with normal high school things like exes and classmate rivalries. But Tavia has a secret -- she is a Siren. Yes, a mythical Siren with an enchanting voice she must hide from the world, forcing her to communicate in American Sign Language. There's a whole secret network to protect the identities of Sirens because the world hates and fears them so much. It's really not fair because, on the contrary, the whole world seems to adore the mythical Elokos. Here's the rub: Sirens are all Black women while Elokos are of all races and genders. I loved how this 2020 YA contemporary fantasy grapples with big social justice issues using these rich metaphors entwined with magical realism. It's a fun read but also deep and engaging, and it would be great fodder for a book group discussion. Also, there's a sequel that just came out this year, if you get hooked like I did.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.