Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.
Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her strokeridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.
With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one, and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.
Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper introduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice.
©2015 Daniel José Older (P)2015 Scholastic Inc.
The narrator is excellent, and I loved listening to her speak Spanish (my pronunciations would have been way off).
When Sierra's godfather helped her sneak into Columbia University's library. Her godfather is hilarious, and we meet one of my favorite characters, the librarian in the anthropology archives.
I loved the way issues like gentrification, cultural appropriation, racism, sexism and the importance of community informed the story (but didn't overshadow the action or the characters).
To understand our viewpoint. We are a couple, married fifty years in the Pacific Northwest with no knowledge of modern Hispanic teen culture in New York City. So we were doubtful about getting into this young adult fiction fantasy.
We loved it! The writing painted vivid pictures. The girl, Sierra, is a wonderfully complex teen. She is spunky, standing up to anyone. But, inside, she is not sure of herself, not fearless, not always right.
The fantasy is built on a unique (to us) concept of "life after after death." The characters are all fully believable. The events include danger, mystery, fear, romance, doubt, discovery, bravery, loyalty and the best kind of justice.
So, we both recommend the book to mature preteens, teens, adults, and old folk, to any who like books with the kinds of events and elements described.
The reader is outstanding! The range of voices is beyond criticism. And, the reading never draws attention away from the enthralling tale.
I had to listen to this book for a college English class and I was hesitant about if I would like it. I ended up really enjoying it. It has so much in it and can be looked at deeper to see problems in society with racism, culture, family problems, and more! I would highly suggest this book to people who like young adult novels with suspense, some action, and a hint of romance that has a cliché aspect to it. If you listen to it I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I loved this book its a true coming into ones self story. i recommend ro anyone who needs a short good tead. action , romance, pre t to teennss, fantacy , magic alll rolled into one!!
Shadowshaper was an unexpected pleasant surprise. The entire time I was on a wonderful, suspenseful and beautiful ride. If you love a good thriller. Sprinkles of horror and a strong young Fel male lead. You will find this story awesome.
I *adored* the main character, Sierra. The cast was complex and varied, and the family dynamics felt so true. I enjoyed the interweaving of everyday and fantastic elements and a storyline that never went quite where I expected it to. I also really liked the tie ins to the Bone Street Rumba novels, although I'm not sure which was written first.
All of this is only enhanced by the incredible range and depth of the narrator. The story includes a wide array of characters, including some complicated scenes with half a dozen characters speaking in a very short span, and the narrator so clearly voiced each individual, there was no confusion about who was speaking. This was a really impressive vocal performance, and I can't recommend the book enough!!
Daniel José Older knows how to craft a magnificent fantasy world, and "Shadowshaper" is an excellent example of that. Sierra is an endearing protagonist, both brave and uncertain, not fully understanding what's going on, but knowing she has to figure it out and protect those she cares about. The magic of shadowshaping is unique and interesting - I loved its basis in connection to spirits. I appreciate Older's ability to center a book around young people, but not have it feel juvenile.
Anika Noni Rose does a fantastic job bringing Older's words to life. My one complaint is that some I mostly listen on my commutes, there were a few points where she gets quiet (intentionally, to convey whispering) that were difficult to hear over car noise. Otherwise I enjoyed everything about this recording and would unequivocally recommend it.
Strong heroine, magic, friendship, family, and culture? What more could I ask for?
This book was well written and beautifully read. Anika Noni Rose was perfection. Each character had individuality in the writing and reading. Each voice was unique to the character. So good. Can't wait to buy more books from DJ Older.
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