Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Stiefvater, M. (2009). Shiver. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.

ISBN-13: 978-0545682787

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Werewolves

Reading level/ interest age: 15+

Plot summary:

Grace was attacked by wolves as a little girl and has been haunted by a pair of yellow eyes ever since.

Reader’s annotation:

When Grace was eleven, she was attacked by a wolf pack in the woods. Though the memory is dim, Grace recalls being saved by a yellow-eyed lupine. Years later, another child is attacked and killed. Mercy Falls decides to begin a wolf hunt soon after and Grace comes home one day to find an injured boy in her backyard. She decides to drag him inside and nurse him back to health. The boy tells Grace his name is Sam and that he is a werewolf. Sam asks Grace for help to stop the wolf hunt and Grace confronts him about her past. He admits that he was the one who saved her from being killed years ago. The pack was hungry and when they are wolves, the pack retains no memories of who they are. Sam goes on to say that during winter, the wolves have no choice but to change. With the season fast approaching, Grace becomes desperate to stop the hunt and find a cure for Sam.

Information about the author:

“Maggie Stiefvater is a writer, artist, and musician and the New York Times bestselling author of Shiver, hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as ‘a lyrical tale,’ and by BookPage as ‘beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages.’ There are more than 1.7 million copies of the trilogy in print. Since publication, rights to more than thirty-six foreign editions of Shiver have been licensed. Linger, the second book in the Shiver trilogy, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

The Scorpio Races, Stiefvater’s latest novel, received five starred reviews and was named to the following best of the year lists for 2011: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Kirkus Reviews. In addition, The Scorpio Races was named a 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association, a New York Times Notable Children’s Book, and The New York Times Book Review raved, ‘[Stiefvater] not only steps out of the young adult fantasy box with The Scorpio Races but crushes it with pounding hooves….If The Scorpio Races sounds like nothing you’ve ever read, that’s because it is.’

“Stiefvater lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children” (, 2014).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       Why do you think Sam’s parents couldn’t accept his disease?
2.       What do you think prevents Grace from turning into a werewolf?

Critical evaluation:

Shiver is an interesting book because the ink is in blue rather than standard black. This sometimes makes reading hard on the eyes but not as bad as the sequels which are printed in red and then green ink. Shiver is an interesting novel because of the twist on werewolf lore. Grace is of particular interest because she does not change despite being bit. She struggles to persevere despite her neglectful parents which can resonate with some teens who have difficult family lives. 

As Shiver is only the second book Stiefvater published, the writing is still a bit raw. Sentences are short and choppy with limited vocabulary. The story also appears to be missing large gaps or details in some places. The book also has quite a few issues that could bring it up for challenge arguments. Though the novel is written for teens, there is quite a bit of bloodshed and the portrayal of parents in the series is very negative.

Challenge issues: 

·         Suicide
·         Parental negligence
·         Violence

Defensive Maneuvers:

·         Have the library’s collection development policy memorized and on hand in case a situation arises.
·         Keep positive reviews on hand to refer to or hand out when needed.
·         If the book has won any awards, mention them to the patron and briefly explain the award.
·         Listen to the patron and practice good customer service skills when communicating. Let the customer know where or if he/she can escalate his/her complaint.
·         When necessary, cite sections of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights or refer to the ALA's Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials.

Why included:

This book could be good for reluctant readers as it is easy to read. I also think that fans of the werewolf and fantasy genres would enjoy reading this. As Shiver is part of a series, this could encourage readers to check out the other novels too. Stiefvater is also an up and coming author with several other books out and readers may enjoy her other works.

Reference: (2014). Biography Maggie Stiefvater. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from

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