________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 18. . . . January 12, 2017


Shadow. (Orca Currents).

Mere Joyce.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2018.
108 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1644-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1645-9 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1646-6 (epub).

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Saird Larocque.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



“I know you were there,” I repeat. “I saw you.”

Bradley lets out a small snort of laughter. Then he catches himself and tries to cover the sound with a cough.

“You…saw me?” he asks.

He thinks it’s a big joke, being caught red handed by the blind kid.


Preston Craft is an average teenager with a passion for classic cinema. So, the chance to plan a student film festival is a dream come true! But when one of the movies goes missing under mysterious circumstances, it’s like he’s being thrown headfirst into a detective film. Being blind from a young age has not held Preston back in life, and it definitely won’t hold him back from solving this mystery, especially when he saw the whole thing! But how can he prove the truth when the truth lies in a shadow?

     Author Mere Joyce uses a highly descriptive style to give readers a chance to see through the eyes of Preston, a 14 year old boy who lost his vision at a young age due to glaucoma. There are a lot of unique influences on the narrative, most interestingly the focus on the main character's movement through the everyday life of a modern teenager. The author of this quick read is successful in using descriptive, sensory language to describe Preston’s way of seeing with his other senses. The central theme of cinema and film gives another great access point for interest based reader’s advisory, on top of the important portrayal of a disabled character in children’s and young adult literature.

     Shadow would be a great resource for those looking for an item that highlights diversity or trying to target a young reader who has an interest in cinema and film. The first person narration helps draw readers into the action and moves the story forward at a steady pace. The only drawback would be the oversentimentality that made the characters a bit less relatable and realistic. Besides a few moments where this distracted from the plot, Shadow is a great book that offers an engaging complexity within a small, accessible format.


Saird Larocque is a librarian and children’s literature researcher from Saint John, NB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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