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Shadowshaper (The Shadowshaper Cypher, Book 1)

Series: The Shadowshaper Cypher

by Daniel José Older


Scholastic Inc.
September 2016


Fiction
Ages 16 – 18 . Grades 11 – 12

Library of Congress: 2014032311


Lexile measure: HL690L

DRA: N/A

Guided Reading: Z+

SRCQuiz

ARQuiz


Come to the crossroads, to the crossroads come

Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden 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.

Where the powers converge and become one

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 herself and generations to come.

Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper introduces a fantasy heroine and magic unlike any you've ever seen before, and marks the YA debut of a brilliant new storyteller.
Daniel José Older

Daniel José Older has always loved monsters, whether historical, prehistorical, or imaginary. His debut series for young adults, the Shadowshaper Cypher, has earned starred reviews, the International Latino Book Award, and New York Times Notable Book and NPR Best Book of the Year picks, among other accolades. His debut middle-grade series, Dactyl Hill Squad, was named to the New York Times Notable Book list and to the NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year lists, among others. He has worked as a bike messenger, a waiter, and a teacher, and was a New York City paramedic for ten years. Daniel splits his time between Brooklyn and New Orleans.

SELECT REVIEWS:

  • A Top Ten YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
    A Top Ten ALA Quick Pick
    A New York Times Notable Children's Book

    "Magnificent... a world that readers cannot help wanting to live in." -- Holly Black, The New York Times

    "Older's book is a first-rate example of how representation, diversity and themes of social justice and identity can be skilfully woven into a narrative -- not so that they disappear, but so that the story pivots on them in a way that is authentic, exciting, and ultimately satisfying." -- Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

    "The strength of Older's tale is in his meticulous attention to the details of the life of a brown-skinned, natural-haired Puerto Rican teenage girl. Older's storytelling is rich enough to warrant such treatment, because this is a world that will stay with readers long after the last page." -- Los Angeles Times

    * "Warm, strong, vernacular, dynamic -- a must." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

    * "Excellent diverse genre fiction in an appealing package." -- School Library Journal, starred review

    * "What makes Older's story exceptional is the way Sierra belongs in her world, grounded in family, friends, and an awareness of both history and change." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

    * "Smart writing with a powerful message that never overwhelms the terrific storytelling." -- Booklist, starred review

    "Older not only gives readers a diverse cast, but he stays true to their background, language and community, lending an authenticity to his work... If you're a YA urban fantasy reader looking for something creative and different, try Shadowshaper on for size." -- Romantic Times Book Review

    "Exactly the kind of title Walter Dean Myers charged his peers to pen at the onset of his career and the kind of narrative he was still imploring publishers to fete in the twilight of his life, one that takes young readers, their unique needs and their racial and cultural realities seriously. Shadowshaper would make him proud." -- The Washington Post

    "Sierra Santiago is the type of character we've all hoped we could have in YA." -- Bustle.com

    "Joyful and assertive and proud, and makes me want to read everything else of Older's, for more of these voices, connections and lives." -- National Public Radio

    "Daniel José Older is one of my favorite new voices, and I can't wait to see what he (and Sierra) come up with next." -- Anika Noni Rose, star of Dreamgirls and The Princess and the Frog

    "I highly recommend Shadowshaper... it is exceptional in a great many ways." -- Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature

    "One of my favorite books of the year, period." -- Rebecca Schinsky, BookRiot

    "Shadowshaper is a game changer." -- FlavorPill

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