The Year of Shadows (Hardcover)

By Claire Legrand, Karl Kwasny (Illustrator)

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442442948, 416pp.

Publication Date: August 27, 2013

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Olivia wants a new life—and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.

Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother’s left, her neglectful father—the maestro of a failing orchestra—has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help—if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: Save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living…and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.


About the Author

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now Ms. Legrand is a full-time writer living in New Jersey. She has written two middle grade novels—The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012, and The Year of Shadows—as well as the young adult novel Winterspell. Visit her at Claire-Legrand.com and on Twitter @ClaireLegrand.


Praise For The Year of Shadows

PRAISE FOR THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is weirdly charming and creepy. I loved the intrepid girl hero Victoria and her determination to save her best friend from the scariest Home ever. An enormously fun--and shivery--read.
— Sarah Prineas, author of The Magic Thief series

"A heartwarming friendship tale—played out amid carpets of chittering insects, torture both corporal and psychological, the odd bit of cannibalism and like ghoulish delights. A thoroughgoing ickfest, elevated by vulnerable but resilient young characters and capped by a righteously ominous closing twist."

" The too-serene-to-be-true town of Belleville harbors some creepy secrets in Legrand's debut, a sinister and occasionally playful tale of suspense. Legrand gives Victoria's mission a prickly energy, and her descriptions of the sighing, heaving home—a character in itself—are the stuff of bad dreams. Watts's b&w illustrations of spindly characters, cryptic shadows, and cramped corridors amplify the unsettling ambiance, and her roach motif may have readers checking their arms."

"Insidiously creepy, searingly sinister, and spine-tinglingly fun, this book also presents a powerful message about friendship and the value of individuality."
— Joy Fleishhacker

"Claire LeGrand’s fantastically spooky The Year of Shadows will keep you turning its pages well into the night, even though the floorboards are creaking and funny shapes lurk in the corner of your eye. Such is the allure of tempestuous, terrific Olivia, the complex and utterly real heroine who is suffering from one misfortune and indignity too many--and that's before the ghosts arrive. Though we soon see that sometimes ghosts are the least of the things that haunt us, the book assures us that with spirit and hope we can create light in the most shadowy of places. Also, like all the best books, it has a really great cat."
— Anne Ursu, author of Breadcrumbs

"A sad, happy, strange book, with some of the most memorable ghosts I've ever read. It's full of shadows, but it's also full of sparks and light and big, glowing scenes, and while it'll break your heart more than once, it somehow manages to glue it all back together by the end. I loved it."
— Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar and The Whatnot

"The blend of spooky but mostly harmless thrills, and family drama makes for a compelling storyline, and Olivia’s grief over her mother’s departure and her subsequent anger at her father are both realistic and
relatable. Olivia is likable even at her snarkiest, and the ways in which she comes to care for the ghosts and even a few living people are sometimes touching. The secret behind the shade’s existence adds a bit of complexity to the missing mother story, and the happy ending feels well deserved for a central character who has had her fair share of sadness."

"Legrand has created a horror-tinged tale of triumph over loss and the destructive nature of hopelessness, that is full of well-rounded characters, a spooky gothic mood, and eerie glimpses into the past lives of the ghosts."