Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on June 30, 2015
Genres: fantasy, ya
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Powell's • Indiebound
After being attacked by a zombie-like being at a summer party, Sierra finds out that she is part of a long standing family tradition of Puerto Rican magic called Shadowshaping. They use painting, music and storytelling to connect with the spirits of their ancestors. Sierra’s fellow Shadowshapers are getting slowly killed off and she must quickly learn how to use her powers to save her family.
When you break down the stories to its bare bones, it is very familiar: everyday teenager finds out they are special and must use their special-ness save the day.
But lets be honest, we all love those adventurous coming-of-age stories. That is why there are so many of them. And when your main character is a smart and sassy Brooklyn-ite, you end up with something pretty fun.
Older weaves a fascinating urban myth. The characters are as diverse and vivid as the Brooklyn streets where it takes place. Our hero, Sierra, is quick-witted and self-assured, comfortable in her own skin and with her heritage. The subtle feminist overtones and the over-arching message of strength in community make this a fantastic uplifting read.
Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.
Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.