Shadow Weaver

Informational Resources:

Author Information:

MarcyKate Connolly’s website:

Activities & Resources:


Shadow Weaver discussion guide (Sourcebooks website):

Click to access ShadowWeaver-DiscussionGuide.pdf


Comet facts:

Make two kinds of comets:


Learn about shadows:

Create cut-out shadow puppets:

Make shadow chalk art:

Write a poem using the theme “light and shadow.” Create an illustration to go along with the poem.


Learn about light and prisms (1:30):

Make visible light with bubbles:

MakerSpace Activities:

Experiment with light using this DIY light box kit:

Make a shadow puppet theater out of a copy paper box:

Write and produce a shadow puppet play using your shadow puppet theater and shadow puppets. This could be based on the book or something totally original.

Discussion Questions:

Emmeline talks about her earliest memory being of the day she was born when her shadow first spoke to her. What is your earliest memory? How old were you?

Emmeline and Dar play a prank on Kendra by scaring her and end up tripping her own the stairs and leaving her with a twisted ankle. Have you ever played a prank on someone that went wrong? What happened? How did you resolve the situation?

After eavesdropping on Tate and his companions and being caught by her parents, Emmeline hears Tate talk about a proposition with her parents. What do you think this proposition will entail?

Emmeline sends Dar to visit Tate during the night and wakes up to find out that Tate was found in a comatose state. What do you believe happened? Do you think Dar had something to do with it?

Emmeline flees her parents home and is pursued by Zinnian soldiers. Why do you think they want her?

Emmeline meets Lucas as she is running away and is taken to meet his mother and father. Dar instructs her to lie about her situation. Do you think it was necessary? Why or why not?

Emmeline is careful not to let Lucas or his family on to the fact that she can shadow weave. How do you believe they would react if they found out?

The closer Emmeline becomes to Lucas the more Dar seems to be jealous of their relationship. Have you ever had to deal with jealousy between friends? How did you handle the situation?

After their trip to the dressmaker’s shop, Emmeline begins to question Dar and her motives. Do you believe Dar is telling Emmeline the truth? Why or why not? What do you think the truth is?

Lucas’s light singing seems to work very differently to Emmeline’s shadow weaving. Do you believe Emmeline can teach him to use his powers in the same way she does? What do you think he will be able to achieve?

Lucas says to Emmeline, “ I wish I could conceal myself with my light singing. All I do is blind people on occasion.” Have you ever wanted to change something about yourself? What was it? Why did you want to make this change?

After the Rodan family shows up, Emmeline and Dar catch the adults talking about Lady Aisling and how she has been searching for children with talents like Emmeline and Lucas. What do you think she wants with them?

Lady Aisling’s soldiers surround the house and the families are forced to flee. How do you predict this will go? Will they get away or get caught? What clues lead you to this conclusion?

Emmeline asks Dar if she believes Lucas will forgive her after finding out all of her secrets. Do you think he will? Do you think he should? Explain your reasoning in a few sentences.

Lucas feels betrayed by Emmeline when he finds her collection of spell materials. Have you ever discovered something about a friend that made you feel betrayed? Describe that situation.  Were you able to make up?

After being released Dar claims to be after revenge. What do you think her next move will be?

Emmeline finds Lucas and his family captured and being held by Lady Aislings people. How do you think she will rescue them? What is your prediction of the outcome?

Where do you think the sequel will take our main characters next?

Book Talk Teasers:

Show the book trailer for Shadow Weaver. After viewing, ask for predictions for what will happen in the story.

Have students create shadow puppets using their hands or cut out paper and a flashlight. Have them take turns being the person making the shadows and the person holding the light. Discuss which element they think would be better to have control over and how it could be helpful in different situations. Encourage them to read the book to find out how the powers of light and shadows work.

Read Alikes:


Barnhill, Kelly Regan. The girl who drank the moon. An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. (NoveList Plus)

Colfer, Chris. Worlds collide. With all of the fairy tale characters occupying the same world, Conner and Alex face their biggest challenge to date of restoring order to the human and fairy tale realms. (NoveList Plus)

Martin, Emily Winfield. Snow & Rose. Snow and Rose search the forest for their missing father and discover there is a sinister magic at work in the woods. (NoveList Plus)

Good and Evil

Beatty, Robert. Serafina and the black cloak. In 1899, a twelve-year-old rat catcher on North Carolina’s Biltmore estate teams up with the estate owner’s young nephew to battle a great evil and, in the process, unlocks the puzzle of her past. (NoveList Plus)

Black, Holly. The iron trial. Warned away from magic all of his life, Callum endeavors to fail the trials that would admit him to the Magisterium only to be drawn into its ranks against his will and forced to confront dark elements from his past. (NoveList Plus)

Chainani, Soman. The School for Good and Evil. Best friends Sophie (princess wannabe) and Agatha (witchy loner) are headed (via kidnapping) to the School for Good and Evil, but their assumed destinies are reversed. (NoveList Plus)

Mull, Brandon. Keys to the demon prison. Since ancient times, the great demon prison Zzyzx has protected the world from the most dangerous servants of darkness, including Gorgrog, the Demon King. After centuries of plotting, the Sphinx is on the verge of recovering the five artifacts necessary to open the legendary prison. To thwart the Sphinx’s designs and find a safe home for the five artifacts, Kendra, Seth, and the Knights of the Dawn must venture far beyond the walls of Fablehaven in a desperate struggle to control the keys to the demon prison.(NoveList Plus)


Lloyd, Natalie. A snicker of magic. Arriving in a town where magic has been driven awayby a curse, 12-year-old Felicity, a girl who possesses a supernatural ability to see words around the people and places she visits, befriends mysterious do-gooder Jonah, who introduces shimmering new words while helping her break the curse. (NoveList Plus)

Newman, Catherine. One mixed-up night. Unbeknownst to their parents, twelve-year-olds Frankie and Walter spend the night in an IKEA store. (NoveList Plus)

Woodson, Jacqueline. Feathers. When a new, white student nicknamed “The Jesus Boy” joins her sixth grade class in the winter of 1971, Frannie’s growing friendship with him makes her start to see some things in a new light. (NoveList Plus)


Connolly, MarcyKate . Shadow Weaver. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2018.


Shadow Weaver. (Starred)                                                

Connolly, MarcyKate (author).                                                      

Jan. 2018. 320p. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, $16.99 (9781492649953). Grades 5-8. REVIEW. First published October 15, 2017 (Booklist).                                               

Blessed by the Cerelia Comet upon her birth, Emmeline has the gift of magic. She can weave shadows into whatever she pleases. Now, at 12, her gift leads to trouble as her only friend, Dar (a shadow tethered to Emmeline), begins causing much mischief. After overhearing visitors tell Emmeline’s parents that Lady Aisling can “cure” Emmeline’s curse, Dar senses a dangerous ploy and convinces the girl to flee. Narrow escape after narrow escape take the two into a neighboring kingdom, where Emmeline meets Lucas, himself gifted by the same comet, although his gift uses light. Lucas’ parents take Emmeline in, but by doing so place their family in danger from Lady Aisling’s soldiers. Tension rises as Dar convinces Emmeline to help make her shadowy form human again, an act steeped in dire consequences. Emmeline’s evocative first-person narrative grabs readers and pulls them into the story. Connolly crafts strong, well-developed characters and a realistic setting in which readers will have no trouble getting lost. Her use of language and suspense is captivating, resulting in a gripping tale that is wholly original. Dark, yet dazzling, this first installment in a planned duology is sure to be popular. A perfect choice for fans of Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon (2016). — J. B. Petty

Used with the permission of Booklist

School Library Journal (October 1, 2017)

Gr 4-6-Emmeline’s magical shadow-weaving makes her an outcast despite her aristocratic class, which is why she’s always been especially grateful for her “shadow,” Dar, whose whispers protect her-and discourage her from making other friends. When Emmeline’s parents threaten to send her away after she causes an accident, Dar helps her escape. But is Dar truly Emmeline’s shadow, or something more sinister? When Dar begins whispering about a ceremony that will give her a real body, Emmeline must decide how far she’ll go to help her closest companion whose dominant personality leaves Emmeline struggling for a sense of herself. Though some readers may question the protagonist’s seemingly naive trust in her manipulative friend, their unusual relationship may spark discussion about the destructive potential of certain types of intimacy and relationships. As Emmeline explores the outside world, she must shake off her passivity and disassociate herself from her “shadow” with the help of her new friend, light-weaving Lucas. Connolly’s descriptions of magic, especially of Emmeline’s shadow-play, are vivid and invigorating. The looming threat of an off-stage magic-eating villain leaves the novel somewhat open-ended, with the potential for a sequel. VERDICT Readers looking for a supernatural twist on toxic friendships will appreciate this complex and compelling read.-Katherine Magyarody, Texas A&M University, College Station © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.                                       

Reprinted with permission from School Library Journal ©2017