Pahua and the Soul Stealer

pahua and the soul stealer

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Lori M. Lee's middle grade debut about a lonely Hmong girl who discovers she's a powerful shaman warrior in this fantasy inspired by Southeast Asian mythology.

"I love the adventures Pahua has in this book. I also love the sense of humor, the clever plotting, and the fantastic cast of characters. But most of all I love Pahua: her courage, her kindness, and her love for family."--NYT best-selling author Rick Riordan

Pahua Moua has a bit of a reputation for being a weirdo. A lonely eleven-year-old Hmong girl with the unique ability to see spirits, she spends her summer days babysitting her little brother and playing with her best friend, a cat spirit no one else can see.

One day Pahua accidentally untethers an angry spirit from the haunted bridge in her neighborhood--whoops. When her brother suddenly falls sick and can't be awoken, Pahua fears that the bridge spirit has stolen his soul. She returns to the scene of the crime with her aunt's old shaman tools, hoping to confront the spirit and demand her brother's return. Instead, she summons a demon.

Thankfully, a warrior shaman with a bit of an attitude problem shows up at the last minute and saves her butt. With the help of this guide, Pahua will have to find her way through the spirit worlds and rescue her brother's soul before it's too late. Little does she know she'll have her own discoveries to make along the way. . . .

With its unforgettable characters, unique nature-based magic system, breathtaking twists and reveals, and climactic boss battle, this story based on Hmong oral tradition offers everything a fantasy lover could want.---from the publisher

Keywords: fantasy and magic, adventure, friends, friendship, Asian culture, Southeast Asia, mythology, family, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old

Complete your middle grade fantasy collection with these best-selling fan favorites: Rick Riordan Presents Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi Rick Riordan Presents Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee Rick Riordan Presents The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan


Yet another triumph for Rick Riordan Presents - Pahua's story is full of family, the longing for friends, and Hmong folklore. Being a member of an ethnic minority is difficult for any child. Add in an absent father, a mother working double-shifts, and being constantly responsible for a younger brother - then multiply by the ability to see spirits. Imagine what it would be like to see things no one else is aware of, not be able to talk about it with anyone because you have no friends, and add it to all the other awkwardness. But when an angry ghost threatens her little brother, Pahua will channel her inner shaman and dare to enter the Spirit Realm to protect him.

The author shares her inspiration for the story in her note, which comes at the end of the book. I had never read any Hmong mythology before, but the figures are fascinating. There are nature spirits, demons, dragons, gods, demi-gods, ghosts, elephant spirit guides, shapeshifters. Any reader who has enjoyed Percy Jackson, Paola Santiago, or other characters from Rick's imprint should grab a copy of Pahua as soon as they can.

Recommended by:  Suzanne Costner, Librarian, Tennessee USA

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