In honor of Wonder Woman Day, another sneak peek featuring her partner in crime, Aquaman, facing off against a group of, you guessed it, sharks with lasers on their heads. My Justice League book featuring Starro drops in August. Pick up a copy HERE. Art by Tim Levins!
It was 23:16 when Eames dialed Arthur’s number on some highway between Nevada and California, knowing already that Arthur wouldn’t be asleep at this hour which forced him to wait patiently for the man to pick up his phone as soon as possible. After three rings, a cracking noise resonated in the silence of the car, and the low voice of Arthur emerged from the device.
“Eames? What’s wrong?” Asked Arthur, who knew full well that it was one of Eames’ private numbers he only used in emergencies. “Eames?” He called again some seconds later, and Eames realized that a big lump in the back of his throat had formed. He tried to swallow his saliva and answered back at his turn.
“Darling!” He replied with a hoarse voice. “What’s up? What’re you doing at this hour?
Shadowshaper: outstanding supernatural YA contemporary fantasy
Daniel José Older’s debut novel Shadowshaper
is a thrilling supernatural YA novel with a diverse, likable cast of
characters whose peril can only be averted through acceptance, true
friendship and an embrace of their identity.
Ever since his stroke, Sierra’s grandfather has been incoherent, until
one day he seizes her wrist and embroils her in the mysterious peril
that has come to her close-knit Puerto Rican Brooklyn community. He
talks about Shadowshapers, though no one will tell Sierra what that
means, but it seems to have something to do with the great graffiti
murals that Sierra and others paint, covering over the failed
gentrification products that have been arrogantly dumped in her
What are shadowshapers? How are they related to Sierra’s heritage, and
to the heritage of Robbie, a cute Haitian boy covered in tattoos
depicting his varied ancestors? And, more importantly, who is hunting
them, and did she really see her grandfather’s dead friend, risen from
the grave and stalking her?
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.
There’s so much to love here: Older skilfully threads his storyline
around issues of class and gender, makes trenchant commentary on the
anthropologist’s claim to objective distance and claims of superior
understanding of other cultures, and the indisputable and easy-to-miss
fact that every person is the hero of her own story, even people whom
society treats as unimportant or even as a liability.
But Shadowshaper is a novel, not a polemic. All of these elements emerge
naturally from a contemporary supernatural horror story that is
beautifully plotted, filled with likable and imperfect characters you
can really root for. Sierra is on something very like a classic Hero’s
Journey, but bent around her unique identity and circumstances in a way
that elevates the timeworn formula into something new and compelling.
Looking for some YA books that just happen to have characters of color, LGBT characters, and/or disabled characters? Here’s a diverse dozen titles with something for every reader — contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, and mystery too. (Descriptions are from WorldCat.)
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (Tu Books) — In a world that has barely survived an apocalypse that leaves it with pre-twentieth century technology, Lozen is a monster hunter for four tyrants who are holding her family hostage.
Pointe by Brandy Colbert (Putnam) — Four years after Theo’s best friend, Donovan, disappeared at age thirteen, he is found and brought home and Theo puts her health at risk as she decides whether to tell the truth about the abductor, knowing her revelation could end her life-long dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.
If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (Arthur A. Levine Books) — Seventh-grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites–and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.
Fake ID by Lamar Giles (Amistad) — “An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Simon & Schuster) — Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved and then hides them in a hatbox until one day those letters are accidentally sent.
Pantomime by Laura Lam (Strange Chemistry) — Gene, the daughter of a noble family, runs away from the decadence of court to R.H. Ragona’s circus of magic, where she meets runaway Micah, whose blood could unlock the mysteries of the world of Ellada.
Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books) — In an adventure reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey, fifteen-year-old Odilia and her four younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, aided by La Llorona, but impeded by a witch, a warlock, chupacabras, and more.
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (Candlewick) — One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?
Rogue by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Nancy Paulsen Books) — An eighth-grade girl with Asperger’s syndrome tries to befriend her new neighbor, facing many challenges along the way.
More Than This by Patrick Ness (Candlewick) — A boy named Seth drowns, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.
Prophecy by Ellen Oh (HarperTeen) —A demon slayer, the only female warrior in the King’s army, must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord to find the lost ruby of the Dragon King’s prophecy and save her kingdom.
Far From You by Tess Sharpe (Hyperion) — After Sophie Winters survives a brutal attack in which her best friend, Mina, is murdered, she sets out to find the killer. At the same time she must prove she is free of her past Oxy addiction and in no way to blame for Mina’s death.
Do you have recs for books with WoC and sci-fi? Or werewolves?
This is an awesome request, especially the werewolf part! The problem is, we only cover YA books, and the only YA book we know of with werewolves and women of color is … a spoiler. So, we’re including it in the following list of YA scifi about women of color. Here you go, in alphabetical order by author name:
Naughts and Crosses (series) by Malorie Blackman (Simon and Schuster)
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (Tu Books)
Diverse Energies (anthology of short stories, including many with women of color) edited by Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti (Tu Books)
The Deep by Zetta Elliott (indie)
The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson (Arthur A. Levine Books)
Liar by Justine Larbalestier (Bloomsbury)
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna (Balzer + Bray)
Tankborn (trilogy) by Karen Sandler (Tu Books)
Orleans by Sherri L. Smith (Putnam)
Partials (series) by Dan Wells
That should give you somewhere to start. Note: Those are all books published for young adults, but if you’re OK with reading books published for adults too, you should of course check out all of Octavia Butler’s books. Some of them are about young women, but they are definitely adult science fiction novels.
so apparently when I was like 2 years old my mom took this writing class from Arthur Levine (the American editor of the harry potter books) and they got pretty close and one time she drove him to the airport and I was in the car too so yeah I’ve met jkr’s american editor