Spring 2024

Pangu's Shadow

  • Interest Level: Grade 7 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

There are no second chances in the Pangu Star System.

Ver and Aryl, apprentices at the most prestigious biology lab among the system’s moons, know this better than anyone. They’ve left behind difficult pasts and pinned their hopes for the future on Cal, their brilliant but demanding boss. But one night while working late in the lab, they find Cal sprawled on the floor, dead.


And they immediately become the prime suspects.

Their motives seem obvious. Ver, who left her home moon to study the life-threatening disease wracking her body, had a hopeless attachment to Cal that could’ve become twisted by jealousy. Aryl, on the other hand, clashed with workaholic Cal because she valued more in her life than research.

To clear their names, Ver and Aryl put aside their mutual suspicion and team up to investigate Cal’s death. As they search for the real murderer, they uncover secrets that have shaped all of Pangu’s moons… and must decide what kind of future they really want.

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Interest Level Grade 7 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: LGBTQIA+, Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Physical Disability & Illness, Diverse Books: Social Class, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2024
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 288
Publication Date 2024-02-06
Text Type Fiction—Science Fiction/Fantasy
BISACS YAF042000, YAF056000, YAF058070
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, Teaching Guides, and eSource

Author: Karen Bao

Karen Jialu Bao does science in the lab, then goes home and writes about it. Having earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University, she studies mosquito brains by blasting them with an electron beam. She has eight ear piercings for no reason. Her favorite activities include cooking, tending her plants, singing, and playing her violin. She is the author of Pangu's Shadow, the Dove Chronicles trilogy, and a contributor to the YA mental health anthology Ab(solutely) Normal.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Pangu's Shadow

There are no second chances in the Pangu Star System. Ver and Aryl, apprentices at the most prestigious biology lab among the system’s moons, know this better than anyone. They’ve left behind difficult pasts and pinned their hopes for the future on Cal, their… View available downloads →

Pangu’s Shadow: An Interview with Author Karen Bao

A lab, a murder, and two young scientists that risk it all. Pangu’s Shadow follows rival apprentices Ver and Aryl who work in the most prestigious biology lab in the Pangu Star System. One night they’re working late and find their brilliant but egotistical teacher, Cal, sprawled on the… View →

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“The characters are distinctive and compelling. This will appeal to readers who love lab settings, murder mysteries, and romance.”—Booklist

Shelf Awareness

“Detective hijinks abound, including last-ditch offworld trips, and a morgue heist to find a prosthetic hand. A slow-burn queer romance and stellar worldbuilding round out this sci-fi about queer girls flipping the script.”—Shelf Awareness

Kirkus Reviews

“This dual-perspective tale maintains a vivid connection to each narrator’s voice while keeping up an exciting pace and unfurling a satisfying mystery. Hard to put down: A strongly written work that pulls no punches while providing much-needed representation.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Cody Roecker

Pangu’s Shadow is a pitch-perfect murder mystery wrapped up in a scientific bow. . .Who knew science could make me feel so much?”—Cody Roecker, adult and teen services, Naperville Public Library

Katie Zhao

“Full of humanity and heart, Pangu’s Shadow will rivet readers with an out-of-this-world murder mystery and capture their hearts with an enthralling rivals-to-lovers romance. A unique, timely, and iconic addition to the young adult mystery canon!”—Katie Zhao, author of How We Fall Apart

Andrea Tang

“An awful lot of fun.”—Andrea Tang, author of Rebelwing

Romina Garber

“Since Dove Arising, I have been waiting with bated breath for Bao’s next SF— and Pangu’s Shadow totally delivers!”—Romina Garber, New York Times and international bestselling author of Zodiac and Lobizona