Please welcome Ann Dávila Cardinal for our #ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2020 with the Children’s Book Council. She has a list of YA Horror Voices!
We are giving away a copy of Five Midnights. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Ann Dávila Cardinal’s Five Midnights is a “wickedly thrilling” (William Alexander) and “flat-out unputdownable” (Paul Tremblay) novel based on the el Cuco myth set against the backdrop of modern day Puerto Rico.
If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there―murderer, or monster? [young adult, ages 14 and up]
O Come, All Ye Fearful: A Chorus of YA Horror Voices
Nothing could make me happier this holiday season than compiling a list of my favorite young
adult horror novels written by diverse authors. Here are my favorites—some new, some tried and
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
This is the first book I think of when someone says young adult horror. South Korean author Kendare Blake is masterful at bringing on the chills and spills. Anna Dressed in Blood is a terrifying read about Cas Lockwood, a killer of the dead in search of an infamous and vengeful ghost named Anna Dressed in Blood, who has been haunting the house where she was murdered in her hometown. To Cas’s surprise, he sees beyond Anna’s ghostly haunting exterior, and develops feelings for his quarry. If you like a good haunted house story, this one is for you, and if you find yourself wanting more, check out the sequel, Girl of Nightmares. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
The Brooklyn Bruja Series by Zoraida Córdova
If you haven’t read this series you must right away! This is a rich tapestry of Latinx culture, and I include the whole series as each book focuses on one of three sisters, offering something for everyone. Travel to the land of the dead with Alex in Labyrinth Lost, bring back the dead through some serious magic with Lula in Bruja Born, and in 2020 we can look forward to traveling to a fairy realm with Rose in Wayward Witch. And the diversity of ethnic, racial, and queer representation in these powerful and rather addictive novels is so very welcome. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
I must admit, this one scared the bejeebers out of me. Written from the unique point of view of Okiku, a vengeful ghost who hunts child murderers, this novel focuses on Tarquin Halloway, a troubled, magically tattooed teen boy whose Japanese mother has been institutionalized and has even tried several times to kill him (take that, Oedipus!). This novel takes you from the U.S. to a village of exorcists in Japan giving it additional international flavor. Add in murder victims (who truly do deserve to die), rooms full of possessed dolls, and at the heart, a Japanese folktale, and you end up with some brilliant, and rather creepy, horror. Not for the faint of heart, this has decapitations, child abductions, scary dolls, and an unreliable AND undead narrator. In other words? It’s AWESOME. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
This is the series I would have killed for as a teen. Afro-Latinx family, cool urban protagonist, art and magic…pretty much perfect. Follow Sierra Santiago through the discovery of her inherited magical powers and fear the undead threat that is hunting her. I was already a fan of Older’s adult horror, but this complex young adult book is his most gorgeous. I loved the representation of NYC Latinx upbringing. I could almost smell the tostones, see the colors of the murals she was painting, and hear the beat of jazz riding the summer air. I’m certain you’ll be entranced by Sierra and Robbie, and will want to continue to immerse yourself in their world with the sequel, Shadowhouse Fall, and the third, Shadowshaper Legacy in January 2020. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
The Dark of the Sea by Imam Baksh
I had the honor of being on a panel at the Miami Book Festival with this author and was so pleased to discover his young adult book about a Guyanese teen hero, Danesh. What I love about this book is that in addition to the usual fantasy/horror features—monsters, mermaids, mythology, oh my!—it also doesn’t shy away from the difficult aspects of life: disability struggles, alcoholism, and even suicide. There is diversity galore among its cast of characters, and I love how the author= captures and maintains throughout the Guyanese Creole syntax and vocal style. I think of it as Lovecraft meets Aquaman with a Creole voice, a dark and mythical Caribbean coming of age story (in other words, right up my alley). [young adult, ages 14 and up]
Can you see the pattern of my choices? All of these books beautifully weave legend and fantasy into a rich, and often, frightening tapestry, bringing the reader on a tour of the unknown and leaving them stronger as a result. These are the things I love about horror novels, and it is not an easy feat to write for a young adult audience. Though, I do love showcasing diverse horror voices, the reflection always surprises me anew just how few there are in the genre. It is my hope that at the close of 2020 there will be another chorus of these voices to add to the field.
Giveaway of Five Midnights!
We are giving away a copy of Five Midnights. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses.
Ann Dávila Cardinal is a novelist and Director of Recruitment for Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA). She has a B.A. in Latino Studies from Norwich University, an M.A. in sociology from UI&U and an MFA in Writing from VCFA. She also helped create VCFA’s winter Writing residency in Puerto Rico.
Ann’s first novel, Sister Chicas was released from New American Library in 2006. Her next novel, a horror YA work titled Five Midnights, was released by Tor Teen on June 4, 2019.
Ann lives in Vermont, needle-felts tiny reading creatures, and cycles four seasons a year.