Momo Arashima Steals the Sword of the Wind by Misa Sugiura
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Mythology
Publishing Date: February 28, 2023
All Momo wants for her twelfth birthday is a normal life–a life like everyone else’s. At home, she has to take care of her absentminded widowed mother. At school, kids ridicule her for mixing up reality with the magical stories her mother used to tell her.
But then Momo’s mother falls gravely ill, and a death hag straight out of those childhood stories attacks Momo at the mall, where she’s rescued by a talking fox . . . and “normal” goes out the window. It turns out that Momo’s mother is a banished Shinto goddess who used to protect a long-forgotten passageway to Yomi–a.k.a. the land of the dead. That passageway is now under attack, and countless evil spirits threaten to escape and wreak havoc across the earth.
Joined by Niko the fox and Danny–her former best friend turned popular jerk, whom she never planned to speak to again, much less save the world with–Momo must embrace her (definitely not normal) identity as half human, half goddess to unlock her divine powers, save her mother’s life, and force the demons back to Yomi.
Content Warning: misogyny inherent in some of the background mythology
About the Author:
Misa Sugiura’s ancestors include a poet, a priestess, a samurai, and a stowaway. Her first novel It’s Not Like It’s A Secret, won the Asian Pacific Islander American Librarians’ Association’s Award for Young Adult Literature; her highly acclaimed second novel, This Time Will Be Different, made the Best of 2019 lists of YALSA, Kirkus Reviews, the New York Public Library, and the Chicago Public Library. Her short story, “Where I’m From” appears in Come On In, a young adult anthology of stories about immigration. Her latest book, Love & Other Natural Disasters has been praised by the American Library Association as “hilariously awkward” and “honestly poignant.”
Misa was born in Chicago, earned a B.A. in English at Princeton University, and taught English as a second language in Japan before moving back to the States to earn her M.Ed at Stanford University. She taught English at a local public high for several years before “retiring” to be a stay-at-home parent. Currently, she lives and writes under a giant oak tree with her husband, two sons, and two cats. You can find her online at misasugiura.com and @misallaneous1 on Twitter and Instagram.
Oh Boy what a ride Momo Arashima steals the Sword of the Wind was. First we have a talking fox an ordinary mum or is she and of course Momo who for me is not your usual heroine and that's what I love about this book. You think Danny would be the hero wouldn't you but even he has his flaws. The story and the world building was top notch. Even though the action was high stakes there was alot of comedy dotted around which did make me smile and laugh
I especially loved the glossary and found it very interesting and informative. I'm just wondering when the next book we be published as I really want it now. For all these reasons I am giving Momo Arashima Steals the Sword of the Wind 5 stars.