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FICTION

Elatsoe

Levine Querido. Aug. 2020. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781646140053.
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Gr 5 Up–Elatsoe (Ellie) is a Lipan Apache teen who lives in Texas, where bizarre supernatural occurrences are the norm and people encounter magic, monsters, shape-shifters, and various supernatural events beyond reason. Ellie has inherited the spiritual skills of her people and has raised the ghost of her dog Kirby. A shimmering mass, Kirby is a loyal companion who alerts Ellie to danger and has the ability to move through walls. Ellie uses her supernatural abilities and keen observation skills to investigate the gruesome, suspicious death of her cousin Trevor. The story opens deceptively slow with abundant character introduction, but the turning point arrives when Ellie dreams about Trevor and he reveals the murderer’s identity. Ellie and her friend Jay visit a library to research the paranormal history of the Texas town where her cousin was killed. They discover that the blood of vulnerable people is a key to one doctor’s cures. In a time-bending web of travel between past, present, and the underworld, Ellie confronts the killer. The dramatic ending will engage readers, and is a worthy payoff for the somewhat slow introductory pace.
VERDICT Ellie’s family’s cultural beliefs and status as Indigenous people are presented well in the context of this supernatural fantasy. Recommended for fans of the genre.

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