Elatsoe is a 2020 young adult novel by Darcie Little Badger marketed to young readers aged 12–18. It is Little Badger's debut novel. It was included on Time's list of the 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time.[1] Some publications have classed the novel as part of the Indigenous Futurism movement.[2]

AuthorDarcie Little Badger
PublisherLevine Querido
Publication date
Aug. 25, 2020
Publication placeUnited States



Little Badger came up with the idea for Elatsoe when she was a teenager. Although initially intended to be written for an adult audience, Little Badger decided to shift to a young adult demographic given the teenage protagonist.[3]



Elatsoe is set in contemporary Texas, but supernatural creatures like ghosts, vampires, and fairies exist. The titular character Elatsoe, nicknamed Ellie, is a 17-year old asexual Lipan Apache girl. She has the ability to recall the ghosts of deceased animals, due to knowledge passed down through her family; Ellie chooses to bring back the ghost of her childhood dog, Kirby, as her companion. Ellie's best friend, Jay, is a descendant of Oberon.

One night, Kirby is spooked by an unknown cause, and shortly afterward Ellie learns that her cousin, Trevor, has died in an apparent car accident. After her mother flies to fictional Willowbee, Texas to support his widowed wife, Lenore, and infant child, Trevor's ghost appears to Ellie. He tells her he was murdered by Abe Allerton, a wealthy local doctor, and asks her to protect his wife and child. She and her father join her mother in Texas. Ellie sets out on a mission to bring her cousin's killer to justice, during which she learns about some misdeeds committed by her own ancestors.[4]

Critical reception and reviews


Cole Rush of Tor.com gave 9/10 review to Elatsoe and wrote "I highly recommend picking up the book and relishing Darcie Little Badger’s exquisite tale".[5] It was also reviewed favorably by NPR,[4] School Library Journal,[6] The Horn Book Magazine,[7] and Kirkus Reviews.[8]




  1. ^ a b "'Elatsoe' Is on TIME's List of the 100 Best Fantasy Books". Time. 2020-10-15. Retrieved 2023-06-05.
  2. ^ "10 Unforgettable Indigenous Futurism Books by Indigenous Authors". theportalist.com. 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2023-06-05.
  3. ^ Cram, Stephanie (December 11, 2020). "Darcie Little Badger's YA debut landed on Time's list of Best Fantasy Books of All Time". CBC. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  4. ^ a b El-Mohtar, Amal (2020-09-05). "The World Of 'Elatsoe' Mixes Humor And Horror (And Ghost Dogs)". NPR. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  5. ^ Rush, Cole (2022-05-17). "Please Adapt: Darcie Little Badger's Elatsoe". Tor.com. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  6. ^ Little, Badger, Darcie. "Elatsoe". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2022-12-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Gall, Elisa. "Review of Elatsoe". The Horn Book. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  8. ^ Elatsoe. Kirkus Reviews.
  9. ^ Strolle, Rachel (7 December 2020). "30 Of 2020's Best YA Science Fiction And Fantasy Books". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  10. ^ "CPL Best of the Best Books 2020". Chicago Public Library. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  11. ^ "Best of 2020: Our Favorite YA Books". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  12. ^ "Best Books of 2020". NPR. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  13. ^ "Best Books 2020: Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  14. ^ "Shelf Awareness's Best Children's & Teen Books of 2020". Shelf Awareness. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  15. ^ "2021 Locus Awards Winners". Locus: The Magazine of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Field. 2021-06-26. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  16. ^ "Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 4 Edition". The Hub. 2020-12-04. Retrieved 2023-06-05.
  17. ^ "2021 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 2021-01-01. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  18. ^ "Andre Norton Award 2021". Science Fiction Awards Database. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  19. ^ "American Library Association announces 2022 Youth Media Award winners". American Library Association. 2022-01-24. Retrieved 2022-12-03.
  20. ^ "Whippoorwill Book Award Winners 2021-2022". Kalamazoo Public Library. Retrieved 2022-12-03.