Shadowshaper is RAD! The heroine of this YA fantasy novel by Daniel Jose Older, is Sierra, a young Latina who loves her brown skin and curly hair (YAASSS!) and she’s smart and funny and talented and brave, while sometimes scared and uncertain. Set against the backdrop of rapidly gentrifying present day Brooklyn, this story follows Sierra as she learns about shadowshaping magic. Shadowshapers can infuse spirits into paintings, music, and stories and someone is killing them off.

The story is great, the characters are charming and fully realized, the dialogue is some of the most natural you’ll find in YA (let alone coming from “urban” characters). Also touches on colorism, a real issue in communities of color, and gentrification is a clever parallel to the predicament of the shadowshapers. Highly recommended!

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