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Overview

A fierce, feminist, and fun middle grade fantasy graphic novel about a twelve-year-old Indian American girl named Shakti who must learn the power of her ancestral magic if she wants to save her family and town from a dangerous curse. Written by Stonewall Honor Book recipient and Lambda Literary Fellow SJ Sindu and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali.  

Shakti is used to being the new girl at school. She and her two moms have moved more times than she can count. With her unborn baby brother on the way, Shakti hopes her family has found their forever home in Amherst, Massachusetts, and that she can finally make friends.

On her first day of seventh grade, she meets Xi and they bond over their shared passion for manga (and pizza with mayo). But the three meanest girls in school—Harini, Emily, and Kelly (aka “HEK”)—are determined to make life miserable for Shakti and her new friends.

When Shakti and Xi discover HEK casting spells in the woods, they fear what might happen to the other kids at school. Drawing on ancient Indian magic, Shakti seeks the aid of Durga Ma to stop HEK. But instead, Shakti accidentally conjures Kali Ma, the destroyer—Durga Ma's dangerous twin. Kali Ma punishes HEK by transforming them into monsters and curses the entire town. As more and more people begin to fall ill, including Shakti’s mom, will Shakti be able to harness her own strength, power, and empathy to save those she loves—and put an end to all the hate? 

A 2023 School Library Journal Best Graphic Novel of 2023!


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063090118
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/23/2023
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 445,908
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

SJ Sindu is a Tamil diaspora writer whose works include the novels Marriage of a Thousand Lies (winner of the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and an ALA Stonewall Honor Book) and Blue-Skinned Gods (finalist for a Lambda Literary Award) as well as the graphic novel Shakti, the short story collection The Goth House Experiment, and the chapbooks I Once Met You But You Were Dead and Dominant Genes. Sindu holds a PhD in English and creative writing from Florida State University and is an assistant professor of creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. More at sjsindu.com.


Nabi H. Ali is a Tamil American illustrator based in Orange County, California. He is passionate about being a voice for representation in children’s media. When he’s not painting, you can find him reading poetry and studying South Asian history.

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