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Product Details

$17.99  $16.73
Lantana Publishing
Publish Date
8.8 X 9.5 X 0.5 inches | 0.88 pounds

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About the Author

Lucy Christopher's novel STOLEN was named a Printz Honor Book by the ALA and received England's Branford Boase award and Australia's Gold Inky for best debut. In a starred review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY called it "an emotionally raw thriller...a haunting account of captivity and the power of relationships." She is also the author of FLYAWAY, a novel for younger readers, and THE KILLING WOODS, a novel for young adults. Lucy lives in Monmouth, Wales. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @LucyCAuthor.
Anastasia Suvorova is an award-winning children's book illustrator from St. Petersburg, Russia. She is the 2018 winner of the Bologna Children's Book Fair Silent Book Contest.


"A child finds a new playmate, but troubles hang like a cloud over the house. After a move, the narrator discovers Shadow, a spectral boy, under the bed. They spend days together, although the narrator's perpetually distracted mother does not perceive Shadow even as his shape changes. Eventually, the two leave and wander into the woods, where Shadow goes off, leaving the child alone in a visually arresting spread that isolates the muffler-clad child on a nearly all-black page. After 'a while, a very long while, ' the child reunites with Ma when they recognize each others shadows. The white-presenting pair play and invite diverse new friends over for tea, including a cat that could be Shadow, who is not unwelcome. The digital artwork strategically uses grayscale with red and navy accents. The tale is definitely uncanny, featuring a doppelgänger ('In the dark, Shadow and me were the same'), and the characters' washed-out eyes have an eerie look. Rest assured, there is a happy ending, with the mother present for multiple pages after the woods. Dappled edges and scratched textures embellish the dreamlike atmosphere. Whether seen as a metaphor for fear, grief, depression, or something else, this story professes that denial is not the way to deal with one's troubles; it is better to communicate and be together. Sensitively shines a metaphorical light onto scary but nonetheless real emotions."--Kirkus Reviews


"A girl moves into a dusty old house where she encounters Shadow--a dark, shape-shifting figure. As the two play, the girl notices that her mother cannot see Shadow: 'Sometimes Ma couldn't see for days.' After following the being into the woods and becoming lost, the girl finds 'the smallest crack of light, ' which leads her to her mother, who is searching for her. The two stand together with their silhouettes cast across the snowy ground--their dual shadows present for the first time--then make their way home, which no longer seems looming and unfamiliar. Suvorova's moody, gray-washed color palette turns from gloomy to full of warmth, and Christopher writes about the trials of liminal states with a light touch and an adept use of familiar metaphors. A well-executed work about the transformative nature of togetherness."--Publishers Weekly


"In her old house, there was no darkness, but in this new house, a young girl finds Shadow under her bed among the cobwebs. At first, Ma thinks her daughter is making Shadow up. But as they begin to play together, Shadow grows increasingly bigger. When one day they go into the forest together, the girl gets lost, alone in a darkness too dark for even shadows, until finally Ma rescues her. Together they go home and explore the dark spaces in the house until there is nothing more to fear. This soft-spoken story can be anything from a simple, lovely, modern fairy tale to a stunning allegory about overcoming fear and how a parent's depression can affect a child. Suvorova expertly incorporates stark, contrasting whites and blacks with sunset reds and oranges for her illustrations. With both words and supporting artwork, there's a darkness that steadily creeps into the story as Shadow grows from a boy into a monster, but the creative team skillfully lifts the story back into a place of safety and light by the end."--Booklist Online


"A little girl and her mother move into a new house, where, under her bed, along with cobwebs and 'dust piles as big as rats, ' the girl finds Shadow. The child-shaped shadow becomes a playmate, but Ma can't see him. Ma can only type at her laptop, look at her phone, and stare off into the distance, sometimes for days at a time. Suvorova's digital art, in mostly shades of grey to start (with Shadow a darker charcoal), is punctuated with pops of orange-red, in the hair of the little girl and her mother and the rosy cheeks of Shadow and the girl. When the two go into the forest together, Shadow runs off with the other shadows, leaving the girl alone. A very dark page shows her looking small and desolate: 'I cried that night in the forest, but no one came.' Eventually she begins to glimpse light and hears her name being called, and she follows the sound to reach her mother. Back home, her mother is now able to play with the girl, and the pages become much lighter, accented with yellows, greens, and lots of reddish orange. Children will interpret the story differently depending on their own life experiences, but the trajectory of moving from a sad and lonely state to one of connection is universal. Because Shadow comes across as a companion rather than a threat, and the girl's happiness is connected to the mother's attention, the equating of darkness with sadness and lightness with happiness is lessened."--The Horn Book Magazine


"In this sympathetic tale, an unnamed girl describes her time spent with a shadow living in the old house she now calls home. Their first meeting occurs under her bed, when 'he didn't go away.' In this isolating environment, the little redhead naturally becomes close to the amorphous shadow while playing games like hide-and-seek and dancing in the attic. But then, one day, they wander into the woods, where the girl is left alone in a pitch black place. Her mother, who up to this point has been distant, rushes to the rescue, and from then on, the two become closer, and gain new friends. While it has its brighter moments, this picture book has more than one type of darkness to contemplate. First is an underlying apprehension. The shadow may have eased the girl's loneliness, but it is ultimately a hollow relationship that draws her away from meaningful ones. There is also an unspecified 'blackness' that looms over the girl's mother. Through the tone, framing, prevalence of contrasting shades, and the actions of the characters, readers get an impression of their circumstances: isolation, possible loss of economic security, or even a change in the family dynamic. Only after their lives take a turn does a smattering of warm, soft colors overcome this. VERDICT This title gently relates the experience of one child coping with difficult times, and possibly points out pitfalls and solutions for others going through similar situations."--School Library Journal