Elatsoe book cover
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

by Darcie Little Badger
Illustrated by Rovina Cai

Levine Querido, 2020
368 pages

Age 12 and older

Following news that her older cousin Trevor has died, Ellie, a contemporary Lipan Apache teen in Texas, is visited by Trevor in a dream in which he tells her he was murdered. Ellie, whose beloved dog Kirbie remains her devoted companion five years after his death, doesn’t find communicating with the spirit world unusual. She was named Elatsoe for her Six Great grandmother, a woman whose legendary skill fighting real-world and supernatural threats helped protect the Lipan Apache people. But Trevor’s message is shocking and deeply upsetting, adding anger to Ellie’s heartbreak. Determined to find the killer, Ellie investigates with the help of her best friend Jay (a descendant of Oberon, although Jay’s magic is faint). Evidence soon points to a doctor from nearby Willowbee, a small, mysterious, whitewashed Texas town where he has a secretive clinic and lives in a house guarded by vampires. Not all vampires are evil—Jay’s sister is dating one who joins the effort to catch Trevor’s killer—but these most certainly are. The more Ellie learns, the greater the danger, including, her mother cautions, risks that go hand-in-hand with her gift. Ellie’s search for justice, and rest for her cousin’s spirit, is also a story of family ties and family history, friendship, loss, and self-discovery in a novel with an engaging, original plot; unique, creative world-building; and terrific characterizations. Black-and-white illustrations at the start of each chapter depict Six Great’s story.  ©2020 Cooperative Children’s Book Center