Book Reviews

Review: The Song of Us by Kate Fussner

The Song of Us is one of the most unique middle grade reads I’ve read in a while. This Orpheus and Eurydice sapphic retelling in verse is a delight. It’s emotional and impactful at once. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Love at first sight isn’t a myth. For seventh graders Olivia and Eden, it’s fate. Olivia is a capital-P Poet, and Eden thinks she wants to be a musician one day, but for now she’s just the new girl. And then Eden shows up to Poetry Club and everything changes.

Eden isn’t out, and she has rules for dating Olivia: don’t call. Don’t tell her friends. And don’t let anyone know they’re together.

But when jealousy creeps in, it’s Olivia’s words that push Eden away. While Eden sets out to find herself, Olivia begins a journey to bring Eden back—using poetry. Both Olivia and Eden will learn just how powerful their words can be to bring them together . . . or tear them apart forever.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

One of the things I love the most about The Song of Us is the way Fussner gives both Eurydice a voice. Fussner brings Olivia and Eden alive as characters who are struggling with their own issues and mistakes. This tender middle grade verse novel is moving both in the emotional intensity and the little details. I loved how The Song of Us is lyrical as it explores what it’s like to have a mother who is struggling with depression and also that pressure we feel to fit in.

We can end up losing so much of ourselves in an effort to be included, to feel seen even if just for a moment. And The Song of Us beautifully captures this moment for middle grade readers. We can sometimes find ourselves on a path that feels like it is inevitable. But it starts with our choices, to be popular, to escape, to grab at a glimmer of something. The power we feel from acceptance even if it’s not real.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

The Song of Us is a spectacular gift for middle grade readers and readers of any age really. It’s a heart wrenching story about love and family, the forces that bring us together and pull us apart. Find The Song of Us on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.


What is your favorite middle grade novel in verse?

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