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Middle Grade Fiction 333
Inspiring tale of embracing your uniqueness and fighting for those you love
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Pahua Moua doesn't exactly fit in with her classmates. Her closest friends are her younger brother and a cat spirit that no one else can see. When she gets the chance to make new friends, she accidentally unleashes a powerful spirit who steals her brother's soul. Attempting to channel her shaman aunt's abilities, she tries to summon the spirit and convince it to give her brother's soul back. Unfortunately, her efforts not only fail but actually make the situation worse. Now, Pahua and her new reluctant ally only have a handful of days to save her brother, all while evading demons and dragons determined to capture her.


-The theme of accepting and embracing who you are: Pahua knows she doesn't fit in at school, and after she meets Zhong, a kickbutt shaman warrior in training, Pahua notices only the ways she doesn't measure up. As her journey continues and reveals startling secrets about her identity, Pahua learns that heroes aren't always eager-to-fight warriors. Sometimes, heroes are those who see the truth in others and are loyal to those they love.

-Miv: Miv is Pahua's best friend and cat spirit. Like many cats, Miv is sassy and excellent at delivering one-liners. He pushes Pahua out of her comfort zone at times but still clearly loves her and wants to protect her.

-The spirit world- Lee does a fantastic job creating a layered, sometimes creepy, sometimes awe-inspiring spirit world where Pahua and Zhong go in their quest. The scenes in the spirit world are full of high emotion and high action, from the reveal of Pahua's identity in the middle of a sleeping curse to intense existential questions with tree spirits.

Filled with heart, friendship, and bravery, PAHUA AND THE SOUL STEALER proves that heroes don't always follow the same blue print.
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