Shuri: A Black Panther Novel

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Shuri: A Black Panther Novel Book Poster Image
Bold princess shines in African superhero adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows a strong female main character with a passion for science, life. Story offers an opportunity to discuss colonialism.

Positive Messages

Girls can be proud of being intelligent and excelling in sciences. Friendships can blossom between unlikely people.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Shuri is brave, resourceful, and confident, perhaps overly so. She chafes under her mother's watchful eye but is respectful of her. She admires her brother but is careful not to fawn over him. She's a strong female main character who's fascinated by the sciences -- a positive role model for middle grade readers. 


The level of violence is low: some hand-to-hand combat, an invasion viewed at a distance, a shoot-out. Injuries are minor.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Shuri: A Black Panther Novel continues the adventures of the Black Panther's younger sister, Shuri. Written by Nic Stone (Clean Getaway) the novel follows the highly intelligent main character on a quest to save a sacred herb. The level of violence is low: some hand-to-hand combat, an invasion viewed at a distance, a shoot-out. Injuries are minor. There's no swearing, sex, drugs, or alcohol.

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What's the story?

As SHURI: A BLACK PANTHER NOVEL opens, 13-year-old scientific genius Princess Shuri is helping her superhero brother T'Challa to prepare for Wakanda's Challenge Day, an event that might cause him to give up the country's throne. Thrown together with needy sort-of-a-friend K'Marah, Shuri disobeys her own formidable mother to investigate the disappearance of a plant vital to Wakanda's global power. Her quest will take her to Kenya, London, and beyond, but will she be able to save the sacred herb in time and help her brother remain king?

Is it any good?

The comics boom has introduced a more diverse selection of superheroes, and this fast-moving solo adventure of a popular supporting player has plenty of appeal. Shuri: A Black Panther Novel spotlights a young African princess as she questions authority and pursues her own goals. More dialogue-driven than many superhero sagas, Shuri is sharp and amusing, with a couple of action sequences that seem to drag just a little. Marvel fans will appreciate some surprise guest stars. Shuri is probably best read after viewing the movie, but newcomers to Wakanda will find plenty to enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Shuri: A Black Panther Novel uses the cultures and mythology of Africa to tell a modern-day story. Why have there been fewer superheroes of color, and why is that number increasing?

  • Shuri first appeared in comics and movies. What advantages does prose have over those media?

  • Unlike most African nations, fictional Wakanda was never colonized. How might that fact have shaped the history of the country?

Book details

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For kids who love strong girls and superheroes

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