Book Review of Pahua and the Soul Stealer
The Children’s Book Review
Pahua and the Soul Stealer
Written by Lori M. Lee
Ages 8+ | 320 Pages
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents | ISBN: 9781368068246
What to Expect: Magic, Hmong culture, spirits, family, coming of age
Pahua Moua is considered a bit odd by her classmates. Not only does she eat strange food and look and sound different from her American peers, but she’s also known for talking to herself. Little do her classmates know, Pahua has the incredibly rare gift of being able to see and speak to spirits. However, being able to talk to them does not mean she knows how to control them.
When she accidentally sets free an angry spirit, the neighborhood children – including her beloved little brother – begin to fall into comas. To save their souls from the hungry spirit, Pahua will have to learn everything she doesn’t know about spirits, shamanism, and her own family secrets. Her teacher? A haughty, grumpy, and thoroughly aggravating not-yet-warrior shaman. Pahua has her work cut out for her.
Drawing on Hmong mythology and animist belief, Pahua and the Soul Stealer is funny, exciting, and absolutely captivating. Shy but strong and with a sharp wit that drives the first-person narrative forward, Pahua herself is a heroine readers will warm to immediately. The mythological world she adventures through is depicted in delightful detail, blending realism with magic to create scenes as unforgettable as the demon department store, where she gets to test her non-existing swordsmanship skills against a demon wearing spandex. The adventure itself has everything one could wish for, from heroes and warriors to enchantments, spirit realms, and epic battles between good and evil.
Pahua and the Soul Stealer is yet another fantastic offering from the Rick Riordan Presents series, perfect for fans of multicultural fantasy adventure.
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About the Author
Lori M. Lee has been writing stories since the third grade and earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. She specializes in science fiction and fantasy and has two YA series to her name: Gates of Thread and Stone and Shamanborn. She’s also a contributor to several anthologies, including A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, and Color Outside the Lines. Lori was born in a village in the mountains of Laos, which her family was forced to escape when she was just an infant. They relocated to a refugee camp in Thailand refugee for a few years and moved permanently to the United States when she was three. Now she lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and excitable shih-tzu.
Her Twitter handle is @LoriMLee.
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Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books Pahua and the Soul Stealereep by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Coming of Age, Magic, Middle Grade Books, and Spirit Animals.