One thing I'm very passionate about is having diversity in children and YA literature. I especially feel it's important that there are stories that mirror reader's cultures. In the case of SHADOWSHAPER we are introduced to Sierra Santiago who lives around Brooklyn and likes to hang with her friends. She loves to paint murals and finds out that there is 'magic' in some of the paintings. But more than that she finds out that there is a secret society of people called the Shadowshapers, who can infuse paintings, music, and stories with spirits. She finds out her grandfather was one of them only now he's in a coma. Sierra looks for answers which will include her own part in having this paranormal ability.
What worked: I loved Sierra! She's feisty, not afraid to stand up for herself, and very creative. The voice is very authentic. I also listened to the audio tape that does a great job of nailing the voice of the diverse culture. Older nailed it!
I also loved the whole premise of Shadowshapers--people that are able to connect spirits with art, music, and stories. The unique twist of this ability gives readers glimpses of the richness of the culture. Totally love!
Older does a great job of giving readers a strong diverse protagonist that will have them want to follow her as she learns how to use her Shadowshaper abilities.
Older paints a vivid picture of a Brooklyn neighborhood that is filled with magic, rich images, and a diverse culture. Readers will applaud Sierra as she tries to bring balance back to her world.
2. Authentic voice
3. Unique twist