cover image Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting (Serwa Boateng #1)

Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting (Serwa Boateng #1)

Roseanne Brown. Disney/Riordan, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-368-06636-5

Courageous 12-year-old Serwa Boateng has trained her entire life to become a fully fledged Slayer of the Abomofuo order, Ghanian warriors blessed by the gods and charged with defeating dark creatures, including the adze—shape-shifting vampires that can inhabit a human host. When a surprise attack compromises the family’s northern U.S. safe house, precipitating their flight, Serwa’s parents are tasked with slaying Boahinmaa, a witch who leads the forces of black magic and killed Serwa’s paternal grandmother. Instead of fighting alongside her parents, though, Serwa is forced to stay with distant family she barely knows, attending middle school in a town utterly devoid of magic. But all is not what it seems in Rocky Gorge, Md., and before long, Serwa is caught up in a startling vampire hunt of her own. Planning an underworld heist, meeting with deities, and dodging school bullies are just the beginning of Serwa’s journey, undertaken alongside “smelly forest spirit” Boulder, a gnomelike mmoatia; supportive cousin Roxy; and new friends Eunju, Gavin, and Mateo. Via Serwa’s savvy narration, Brown (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin) melds Ghanian folklore, smart action, thoughtful commentary about liminal spaces, and a healthy dose of tween hijinks, making for an exhilarating introduction to Serwa Boateng’s magic-filled world. Ages 10–14. [em]Agent: Quressa Robinson, Nelson Literary. (Sept.) [/em]