Cody Seltzer and the Creeping Shadows


Loved it! 😍

The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow-George R.R. Martin. Cody Seltzer and the Creeping Shadows by Lassiter Williams.

11 year-old Cody Seltzer only wants to live a normal life. Like hanging out with his brother and friends. Only instead of the simple normalcy that he craves, he must contend with his parents. For instance, does his mother like to stay home and bake? No, she's covered in tattoos, owns a bookstore, and rides a skateboard. Even his best friend, since the age of four, Zeke is a little on the weird side. He does have an older brother named Wyatt. Together the three of them make comic books. However, lately Wyatt has been acting funny and only wants to be alone (teenagers). Cody does like to play soccer. But herein lies the problem. Because, when he plays with kids from outside of his neighborhood of West Adelphia he compares his life to theirs. And he really sees just how high his freaky flag can fly.

As our story begins Cody and his new "cool" friends, Aiden and Jiao, (along with Zeke) are planning on going trick-or-treating. All anyone can talk about is this really great video game, that Cody of course is clueless about. Just one more thing to emphasize his differences and cause him embarrassment. While out and about, Cody quickly discovers that werewolves; vampires; and zombies aren't the only things he has to worry about. Suddenly dark shapes move in the gloom and shadows seem to solidify in Cody Seltzer and the Creeping Shadows by Lassiter Williams.

At first glance this book is about a secret corporate take over. The adults are at odds because a new development company named Mara Corp is trying to buy all the neighborhood businesses. They even offer Cody's mom money for her bookstore. Then acts of vandalism have been cropping up. And there are a slew of young people running around caught up in the new Kama Video game craze. All these strange things are going down and only Cody seems to notice that the very flow of the city is being disrupted.

But the more that I read the more I began to see a different sort of pattern emerging. That of recognizing one's own unique gifts and those of others and then learning to embrace them. That of daring to be different in a world that encourages everyone to be the same. Question, if you encountered a vending machine that sold popularity, super stardom, and fabulous fame would you make a purchase?

Cody Seltzer is such a unique character. It seems that visual things have a strong impact on him. He doesn't just see colors and shapes, but he feels them. Williams does an amazing job helping readers to see things from Cody's point-of-view. It's not hard to see the dark shadows hiding under porches and behind trees as they begin to swallow up all of the color and light. A swirling mix of black schwatz and dark indigo colored shapes have slowly begun moving and groping their way into the real world. Don't forget to add to the mix Williams' description of Cody himself, with his skin tone of green gold with flushes of cinnamon.

Needless to say, the shadows aren't just creeping, they are growing. The grownups are involved in protests and ice cream food fights. Meanwhile, the Mara Corp bulldozers are on their way. Can Cody learn to appreciate his own uniqueness and that of his friends in time to save his neighborhood?

Reviewed by

Hi, my name is Wymanette L. Castaneda. I’m a great fit to be a reviewer on Discovery because I love to read more than I love to breathe. Books are like magic carpets that transport you to whole other universes. As a reviewer, I can share this information with others.

Of Boogersnarfs and Shadows

About the author

I believe in the healing power of stories. We understand best when we can tell the story. I have published a YA adventure, The Rage, and a Middle Grade Mystery, Cody Seltzer and the Creeping Shadows. I graduated from Sarah Lawrence and am a social worker in training at Bryn Mawr College. view profile

Published on November 07, 2022

Published by Regent Street Press

0-1000 words

Genre: Children's

Reviewed by