The Seventh Raven
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The Seventh Raven

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Best-selling author David Elliott examines the timeless themes of balance, transformation, and restoration in this evocative tale about a girl who will stop at nothing to reverse a curse that turned her seven brothers into ravens.

And these are the sons

Of good Jack and good Jane

The eldest is Jack

And the next one is Jack

And the third one’s called Jack

And the fourth’s known as Jack

And the fifth says he’s Jack

And they call the sixth Jack

But the seventh’s not Jack

The seventh is Robyn

And this is his story

When Robyn and his brothers are turned into ravens through the work of an unlucky curse, a sister is their only hope to become human again. Though she’s never met her brothers, April will stop at nothing to restore their humanity. But what about Robyn, who always felt a greater affinity to the air than to the earth-bound lives of his family?

David Elliott’s latest novel in verse explores the unintended consequences of our actions, no matter our intentions, and is filled with powerful messages teased from a Grimms’ fairy tale. Stunning black-and-white illustrations throughout by Rovina Cai.

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  • Format: Audiobook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358450467

  • ISBN-10: 0358450462

  • Duration: 1 hr 47 min

  • Price: $9.95

  • Publication Date: 03/16/2021

  • Age(s): 14,15,16

  • Grade(s): 9-12

Hear David Elliott talk about The Seventh Raven

David Elliott

David Elliott

David Elliott is the award-winning author of more than twenty-five books for young people, including the picture books Finn Throws a Fit!  and the New York Times best-selling And Here's to You!. He is the author of the critically acclaimed verse novels, Bull, which received six starred reviews, and Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc, which was shortlisted for The American Library in Paris Book Award and is the recipient of the Claudia Lewis Award for poetry. A native of Ohio, David now lives (and writes) in New Hampshire with his wife and their Dandie Dinmont terrier, Quiggy. Learn more about David by visiting
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  • reviews
    ★"Rich with evocative language.... Elliott (Voices) makes the propulsive mix of formal and concrete poetry and blank verse sparklingly accessible for teen readers, with repetitions and Cai’s (Elatsoe) inky illustrations weaving multiple narrators into a beautifully unified volume. Fans of lyrical retellings such as Malinda Lo’s Ash will find this bittersweet quest a warm welcome into myth and verse." –Publishers Weekly, STARRED review 


    ★"Elliott brings emotional depth and poignant verse to the Grimms’ 'The Seven Ravens.' This beautifully evocative tale weaves different poetry forms to great effect, achieving short, intense bursts of emotion and deep, wandering musings on identity and fate. Cai’s haunting illustrations add context and visual interest to many of the poems. Although the setting and events may belong in a fairy-tale, the core emotions of this work draw straight from reality." –School Library Journal, STARRED review 


    "Elliott once again is a master at poetic form....Within the elegant construction is a simple story of best intentions that reap terrible consequences and a look at how we believe our wishes for others come from a place of altruism when it is more often selfishness." –The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 


    "Elliott’s poetry is by nature taut with intensity, an effect he achieves in part through his skill with verbal rhythms, rhyme, and formal poetic structures; in part through his gimlet-eyed focus on human passion, expressed through multiple voices. He brings all this to his verse-novel interpretation of the Grimms’ tale 'The Seven Ravens,' with poetry so propulsive that it seems to cry out for oral performance." –The Horn Book Magazine 


    "A skillful use of verse; moral conundrums and strange plot twists offer even stronger draws." –Kirkus

  • excerpts

    They called me Robyn. How did they know from the very start 

    that the murmuring beat of my infant heart 

    would not conform to the rhythms of my brothers’? 

    One no different from the other, 

    and insensible to the smart

    sting of thorns on the rocky ground. Each of us, it seems, has his part 

    to play; theirs is earthbound, like our father’s, their feet planted in the dirt. 

    But I love the sky, its incandescence, its infinity, its colors. 

    And they called me Robyn.

    The naming of children is a fine and subtle art. 

    Parents must consider everything the name imparts. 

    Was it merely accident or the instinct of a mother 

    that mine hints at altitude and air, flight and feather? 

    Whether luck or Fate—Fortune’s sly, unyielding counterpart— 

    they called me Robyn.

    AND here is the man 

    Who lives in the cottage 

    That’s built near the river 

    That runs through the forest 

    He calls himself Jack

    And here is Jack’s axe 

    With its bright-sharpened tongue 

    And its bright-sharpened will 

    And its head-banging anger 

    Its terrible temper 

    Its loathing of rest

    And this is Jack’s saw 

    With its sharp crooked teeth 

    And its lunatic grin 

    And its sickening song 

    And insatiable greed 

    And its obsessive need

          To go forth 

    and come back 

          To go forth 

    and come back 

          To go forth 

    and come back 

          To go forth 

    and come back

    AND day after day after day after day 

    Jack swings the sharp axe 

    And pulls the sharp saw 

    And curls the tongues 

    And tramples the eyes 

    And deafens the ears 

    And brings the trees down 

    He wants to know why 

    He has seven sons 

    When night after night after night after night 

    He falls on his knees 

    And clasps the scarred hands 

    That hold the dark beads 

    And bows the big head 

    That holds the dark eyes 

    And shuts out the noise 

    Of his sons in their sleep

    And prays for a daughter

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: Audiobook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358450467

  • ISBN-10: 0358450462

  • Duration: 1 hr 47 min

  • Price: $9.95

  • Publication Date: 03/16/2021

  • Age(s): 14,15,16

  • Grade(s): 9-12