Saint Paul Public Library selects Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older as 2017 Read Brave Book

Date: Dec 8th, 2016

Annual citywide one book program engages teens in discussions about thought-provoking, contemporary issues

Saint Paul Public Library has selected Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older as its 2017 Read Brave book. Read Brave is the library’s annual, citywide program encouraging youth and adults to read and come together around a young adult novel. The program encourages intergenerational dialog on thought-provoking, contemporary issues and culminates with a visit by the author.

"I am beyond thrilled that Shadowshaper will be the Read Brave book this year,” said Older. “I wrote Sierra's story thinking deeply about the Brooklyn neighborhood she lives in, but I've been amazed to hear folks from all over tell me they relate to her world, know her friends as their own friends, understand her magic. I'm thrilled the magic will live on in Minnesota as well." 

Shadowshaper addresses issues of body image, cultural appropriation, feminism, and gentrification.

Synopsis of Shadowshaper:

Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come. - Scholastic

Older will visit Saint Paul on March 1-2 and will participate in community conversations about his book and two community writing workshops, which are free and open to the public. Learn more at


Read Brave is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.