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Three Songs for The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen *Spoilers*

A while back I did a review and outfit for The Scourge; since then I haven’t mentioned this amazing book once. Well, in the time that has passed, I have compiled a short list of songs that I believe represent The Scourge wonderfully. Note: if a section has the same color -other than black- the commentary applies to the entire colored section.

Steady by For King and Country (Ani and Weevil’s friendship)

You’re my true north when I’m headed south   (Weevil tells Ani she balances him)
My constant solid ground   (Weevil is always there for Ani)
You are my lantern in the night   (Weevil helps guide Ani, he comes to her when she’s locked in the cage at night)

When I’m twisted up and shaken  (Ani balances Weevil, he balances her, they calm each other down)
You’re the one I put my faith in  (They trust each other to an unbelievable extent)
Yeah, you’re the reason I survive   (They couldn’t survive without each other, Weevil helps her figure out what’s wrong with the medicine, he gives her food, she tells the colonists to dump their medicine)

[Chorus:]
You keep me steady when the sky is falling   (They support each other unconditionally, they men on the island hold on to Ani so she doesn’t fall off the treadmill)
And I’ll keep steady after You   (They stick together to the end)
I’ll carry on when my strength is failing   (Even when Ani is exhausted on the treadmill she keeps going to protect Weevil)
Take heart ‘cause You’re with me   (They always are there for each other, Weevil goes to the island even though he doesn’t have to)
So let the stars drop, whatever comes  (Once again, no matter what they stick by each other, Weevil always is there for Ani)
I’ll be ready, You keep me steady   (They’re always ready to help each other, they support each other)
You keep me steady  (Same as before, undying loyalty)

You’re a river, You cover me   (The flooding river, they cover for each other no matter the price)
When the bombs fall, You’re the cavalry   (They’re always ready to sacrifice their own comfort for the other)
Somehow You’re always standing right by my side   (Even when it doesn’t seem possible Weevil is there for Ani)

So no matter what I will be facing   (They overcome crazy odds)
I will not be over-taken   (They won’t allow themselves to be overtaken, Ani in the snake pit)
And You are the only reason why   (If it wasn’t for each other they would have never made it through)

[Chorus]

You’re my hiding place, my home (They keep each other safe)
And fear cannot invade these four walls   (The cave they find where the survivors live)
I need You near, I need You here   (They need each other more than can be expressed)

[Chorus]

You keep me steady   (They support each other)
You keep me steady   (They balance each other beautifully)

It’s Not Over Yet by For King and Country  (The main theme of the book: don’t give up)
They are inside your head
You got a voice that says
You won’t get past this one
You won’t win your freedom
It’s like a constant war   (There is always that voice telling them that they can’t make it)
And you want to settle that score   (They try to fight for what’s right)
But you’re bruised and beaten   (They are injured but they don’t give up hope)
And you feel defeated   (Sometimes the odds seem impossible and nothing seems to work but they don’t stop trying, it seemed like it was over when Ani was in the snake pit but she didn’t give in, she held on and fought)

This goes out to the heaviest heart   (Weevil’s heart is heavy with worry and responsibility)

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et   (They have a limited amount of medicine and sometimes it feels like not having it will kill them, but in truth, it makes them stronger)
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light   (They have to fight to see the truth and share it)
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over

Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa   (They won’t give up, hope will rise)

Oh, game set match
It’s time to put it in your past, oh  (Weevil has to get over the fact that Ani helped his family without telling him and focus on the important things)
Feel the winter leavin’
It’s redemption season   (Things will get better)
Long live the young at heart (Here we are)   
Cheers to a brand new start (Here we are)   (They’re young and they keep trying, they go back home and get a new start)
We’re revived and breathing   (They start to get better)
To live a life of freedom   (They finally earn their freedom)

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et   (They have a limited amount of medicine and sometimes it feels like not having it will kill them, but in truth, it makes them stronger)
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark  
Into the light   (They have to fight to see the truth and share it)
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over   (They won’t give up, hope will rise)

Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (Here we are)
Oh no never give up (Here we are)
Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (Here we are)
We will never give up (Here we are)   (On the treadmill Ani is running a race that never seems to end but she doesn’t give up)

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et   
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et   (They have a limited amount of medicine and sometimes it feels like not having it will kill them, but in truth, it makes them stronger)
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light   (They have to fight to see the truth and share it)
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over   (They won’t give up, hope will rise)

Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa

To the Dreamers by For King and Country  (The plot and theme)
Beat up but won’t be broken   (They’re beaten but they won’t let themselves be broken)
Lonesome but always searching   (Weevil saying Della needs a friend)
Homesick but nobody’s heading home soon   (They want to go home but can’t)
Keep on, keeping on, keeping on   (They just have to keep fighting)

Long days; too many short nights   (They don’t get much rest)
Wrong ways that almost felt right  (Weevil messes with  the medicine, trying to fix it, they try to make things right but can never quite get it)
Lovesick but no one you’re holding on to  (Della is in love but her lover is not there)
So keep on, keeping on, keeping on   (They just have to keep fighting)
And sing along, sing along, sing along… Yeah   (The men sing with Ani to get rid of the wardens)

[Chorus:]
To the dreamers
Wide-eyed believers
Hanging onto hope by a thread
To the soulful
Heart open hopeful
Keep on charging ahead
‘Cause, when you feel it, once you see it, and you breathe it
It’s unforgettable
When you know it, once you know it, and you hold it
It’s unforgettable   (They almost appear crazy for what they believe but they know it’s true, they keep fighting, they hold on to hope even if it’s only a thread)

God knows you question your courage   (They do question if they can make it)
And some days I can’t walk for stumbling   (Somedays it’s too hard, Ani stumbles on the treadmill)
If we could only see what we’re becoming  (Ani can see she’s getting better, they try to share this with the other colonists)

So keep on, keeping on, keeping on   (They just have to keep fighting)
And sing along, sing along, sing along… Yeah    (They sing to get rid of the wardens, people pay Ani to stop singing and she uses the money to help Weevil)

[Chorus]

When you feel it, once you see it, and you breathe it,
It’s unforgettable
When you know it, once you know it, and you hold it
It’s unforgettable

When you feel it, once you see it, and you breathe it,
It’s unforgettable
When you know it, once you know it, and you hold it
It’s unforgettable    (They almost appear crazy for what they believe but they know it’s true, they keep fighting, they hold on to hope even if it’s only a thread)

I was wondering and I was wandering   (Della was wondering on her own, Ani and Weevil running through the forest and get separated)
So down and out, I was lost not found   (Sometimes things seem to be so off of what they want and need)
History said, oh someone said, that you could never exist   (History said the disease did exist, Ani proves it doesn’t exist)
But then a whisper, start of a kiss   
Came to me in all of a sudden like a dream, a fantasy
That day didn’t feel quite real   (They seem some proof of the medicine hurting them, they kiss, it doesn’t seem real that the governor is selling them)
You took a half dead soul and You made me believe
I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe   (They were almost dead, the colonists eventually believe)

To the dreamers
Wide-eyed believers
Hanging onto hope by a thread
To the soulful
Heart open hopeful
Keep on charging ahead   (At first they don’t have much proof, not many people believe them, they keep their hope, Ani keeps on walking on the treadmill)

[Chorus x2]

Book Reviews

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt Review

Summary:fishy

Ally has problems. Lot’s of them. But they all come from one source, the fact that she can’t read. She’s in sixth grade and so far she’s been able to hide it from all of her teachers, but that won’t last forever. One day she gets a new teacher: Mr. Daniels. Mr. Daniels isn’t like all the other teachers she has had before. He doesn’t think she’s stupid, but what he thinks might be worse, because it seems impossible. He tells Ally she’s smart, and that he truly believes that just because she learns differently doesn’t mean she’s dumb. This book is about Ally’s journey to discover how smart she actually is, and that in life things may be hard, but very few are impossible.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book. It was wonderful to watch Ally go from believing that her life was the equivalent of a can of dirt to realizing that she is amazingly smart. I loved Mr. Daniels, I think one of my favorite parts was when he told Ally that she was really brave for coming back to school each day knowing it was going to be hard, what a beautiful thing. Other than a few “Oh my god”s or a few “My god”s this book was completely clean.