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Maya and the Rising Dark
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Maya and the Rising Dark
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In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya's search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister...
In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya's search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister...
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  • In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya's search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent's Secret.

About the Author-

  • Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. When she's not writing, she can be found running along Lake Michigan or brushing up on her French. Visit her on Twitter: @renathedreamer

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2020
    Maya knows her father's stories aren't real--are they? Maya, a comic-book-loving, anemic 12-year-old black girl, is suffering through situational math when she experiences a sudden, time-stopped moment when "the color bled from the world like someone was sucking it away through a straw." That is not the only strange incident: Maya has an all-too-real dream of a man with skin "the color of the moon" and "pale violet eyes" who has the same color-sucking ability; her structural engineer papa literally disappears in front of her; and when she and her friends Frankie and Eli find themselves fighting shape-shifting darkbringers, Frankie discovers her own light-shooting skills. What Maya, Frankie, Eli, and readers find out from Maya's mother is that Papa's real identity is Eleggu�, the most powerful of the West African orishas, guardian of the veil between this world and those of the darkbringers and other forces. Not only that, but Frankie's newly found gift came from her late mother, who is also an orisha, and Eli is part orisha, too. The astonishing series of subsequent revelations leaves readers agog, eager to know how Maya and her pals will use their powers to heal the veil and save their mostly black and brown neighborhood. In her author's note, Barron describes how this book has risen from her explorations of the traditions of her West African ancestors. A truly #BlackGirlMagic, cloudy-day, curl-up kind of book. (Fantasy. 10-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2020

    Gr 5-7-Twelve-year-old Maya is daydreaming about summer break when time pauses and the color begins to bleed from the world. Her two friends, science-obsessed Frankie and occult-obsessed Eli, try to offer an explanation (science and ghosts, respectively) but when creatures from African folklore come to life in their South Side Chicago neighborhood and Maya's father goes missing, the community elders finally reveal the truth: The three tweens are godlings of the Orisha, and Maya's father is the Guardian of the Veil between worlds. With the help of her friends, Maya is determined to find her father and restore order to both worlds. Though Maya is the protagonist of this work, her community is the heart of the story and is celebrated in rich detail. Maya is fierce, observant, and unashamed of her love of comics-much like Frankie and Eli, who are similarly unapologetic of their interests. Their community is vibrant, close-knit, and diverse; neighbors spend time outside, know each other, and look out for one other. The vivid world-building, quick pace, high stakes, and steady stream of legendary African creatures keep readers engaged and invested in the tweens' predicament. VERDICT Mixing in hard choices, believable emotions, tough lessons, and mistakes made with the best of intentions, Barron has created a must-read tale. For fans of "Percy Jackson" who are yearning for a new pantheon, but not quite ready for Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone.-Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University, SC

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 15, 2020
    Grades 5-7 Twelve-year-old Maya loves her papa and the wild stories he tells about orisha gods and mystical West African creatures he encounters while away at work. But after a series of strange occurrences, including a brief freeze in time and space, and an attack by a pack of werehyenas from the Dark (think Stranger Things' Upside Down), Papa reveals to Maya that there's more to these old folktales than meets the eye. Though to Maya he is Papa, her father is also a celestial being called Ellegu�?the Guardian of the Veil (between Maya's world and the Dark). The veil that he's created and maintains has killed beings from the Dark, making Ellegu� the target for the Lord of the Shadows' revenge. Together, Maya and her best friends Frankie and Eli journey through the Dark in their effort to save her papa?and Earth as they know it. This opening installment of what will be a much-anticipated series is fast-paced and adventurous, offering a fresh blend of culture, community, and folklore rooted broadly in the African diaspora.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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