Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Archimancy (Shadow School, #1)” as Want to Read:
Archimancy (Shadow School, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Shadow School #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  409 ratings  ·  106 reviews
The first book in a middle grade series that introduces three friends and their quest to unravel the secrets of Shadow School, a strange middle school in New Hampshire, from the acclaimed author of Nightbooks and the Thickety series, J. A. White. Perfect for fans of Stranger Things, Neil Gaiman, and Adam Gidwitz.

Cordelia Liu knew Shadow School was going to be different. Bl
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Archimancy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sara This is 5 months later lol But if you would be comfortable with the child watching the movie "Paranorman", then this should be appropriate for them. T…moreThis is 5 months later lol But if you would be comfortable with the child watching the movie "Paranorman", then this should be appropriate for them. This book has a Paranorman vibe to it.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  409 ratings  ·  106 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Archimancy (Shadow School, #1)
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, own
Damn I was seriously deprived of something in childhood by not going to a boarding and/or haunted school. I loved that middle grade books with a group of friends that ARE NOT ALL WHITE is so much more available nowadays. The kids were wonderful and so damn smart. Such a weird and fun setting.

Rep: half Chinese character and Persian character
Belles Middle Grade Library
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wowza! This is my 2nd book I’ve read by J.A. White, & I can see he is going to be a favorite author. I LOVED Nightbooks, & I think I loved this even more! Anything w/a school, I’m in. Even a middle school, as long as there’s something unique about it, or creepy even. This had all of that. I especially love it when a school used to be a huge house, manor, or mansion before being turned into a school. That’s the case here! Oh & the backstory of the previous owner & occupant of the house, who also ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, library-books
This is a great story about friendship, secrets of a rather creepy school and ghosts! Can´t wait to read another book by him!
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I has resolutely decided not to read any spooky reads this October. 2020 has already being creepy enough so I didn't want to have any more reasons to keep me awake. Which is why I don't understand how I began reading this in the first place! Nevertheless I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot. The book was not scary for me but I think it could be for someone in the recommended age group. ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit of a spooky middle-grade read, perfect for the beginning of October. I thought this was cute and enjoyed reading about the friendship between Cordelia, Agnes, and Benji and the ending was sweet and satisfying. Hoping there will be a sequel but this could also work as a standalone.
Ms. Yingling
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Cordelia Liu moves from California to the Northeast because her father has lost his job. She enrolls in the local school only to find out that it is a quirky building that is haunted! She does meet a friend, Agnes, but when the ghost sightings start piling up, she also gets to know Benji. Benji was a popular kid and great soccer player until he started to hide behind his hoodie and earbuds. Cordelia suspects he can also see the ghosts, and she's right. He
Lupine Smile
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.

When I saw the description of the book (for fans of Stranger Things & Gaiman), I was quite excited to be a winner of the giveaway. After reading the book, I would say that this book fits more in line with fans of Goosebumps or Magic Tree House. The reading age of this book would fit into the 9-11 yr old range by my estimations.

The story starts with the classic new kid at a new school, but this time with a twist, something is not right at Shad
Jen Petro-Roy
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So well done. I honestly couldn’t predict the twists or who to trust. Loved this.
Christian Torres
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really really really really like this book so much and might be my favorite book in the whole world. I want to read the next book I’m pretty sure I would like that one too
Carina Olsen
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-i-want
I have been a fan of this author for many years now. I loved his first fantasy series beyond words. And will always read his new books. I was a little nervous about this new one, as I'm more of a fantasy person, and do not read many books set in present time. Yet I was excited too. And ended up liking it a bunch. Four stars.

Archimancy was a quick and fun read. I had a small issue getting into it at the beginning, but that did not last long, and I ended up enjoying everything a whole lot. While I
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I genuinely enjoyed this book, and it definitely exceeded my expectations. This book reminded me of the Morrigan Crow stories. I thought that this book was going to be around a 3.5/5, but it ended up being a 4/5, because I found myself really liking this book. I actually looked up from my book, and laughed out loud at some of the dialogue. With me being older than the juvenile fiction demographic, juvenile fiction dialogue tends to become cheesy for me, but for the most part, this dialogue wasn’ ...more
Story of a Book Reader
~ She heard someone crying. These weren't the quick, breathless tears of someone in physical pain, but a low, rhythmic weeping. It was the kind of crying you allowed yourself when no one else was listening. ~

Who doesn't love a great ghost story?

Cordelia finds herself at a new school which she quickly realizes is filled with ghosts. With the help of her two new friends she tries to discover a way to help the ghosts out, trying to free them from their misery.

~ Even at eleven, Cordelia knew that t
Felix Hommy Gonzalez
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great book by J.A. White. It seems like this guy only creates masterpieces. I loved all the characters, the spooky setting and the awesome friendships. Also: I cried. Like, really cried. I was definitely not expecting that, but this book really moved me. What a beautiful spooky story!!!


There were some questions left unanswered and I felt like some things (and characters) weren’t really fleshed out or explored in depth, but it is just the first book of a series, so I’m guessing we wil
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a spooky read that's perfect for the start of October. I enjoyed the plot and reading about the friendship between Cordelia, Agnes, and Benji. The ending was sweet and satisfying. I hope there is a sequel but this could also work as a standalone. ...more
Michelle  Osborne
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, spooky middle grade story. The main character is eleven years old and gets sent to a haunted school. I’m a sucker for a school setting, and this one didn’t disappoint. Read it in one sitting.
Chayse Sundt
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review to Come!
This was great! Solid storyline, fun and spooky but not terrifying.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrow, standalones
This is soo fun. I can't wait for the next book. ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
i picked this up on a whim. i wanted to read something light that didn't require so much of my concentration and horror because well, it's fall and this was, somewhat, perfect for it.
a school full of ghosts? yes, please. but it is, afterall, a middle grade book so it didn't scare the brains out of me and I wasn't turning around, looking at my back at, um, zero times.
It was still a good adventure story. Kind of got me out of a reading slump so I appreciate that.
I think i would recommend it to yo
Pop Bop
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
A Thoughtful and Engaging Ghost-Adventure Story

The genius underlying J.A. White's books is that he establishes a scary premise, puts a smart and resourceful hero in the middle of it, and then allows that hero or heroine to think, reason, and act bravely and creatively in order to overcome the threat. In the "Thickety" series our heroine must enter and subdue the dark woods and the witchcraft within. "In "Nightbooks" the hero is tricked into a witch's lair and has to plot his way out.

In this book
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who believe in ghosts.
Recommended to Andrew by: A shelf.



^ I really don't think there's a better way to start this review than with that. Cordelia Liu is a half Asian, half White girl who's just moved from California to New Hampshire with her parents. At first, she is not pleased at all and not very understanding that their parents didn't have much of a choice. She's 11 years old, and isn't very silent about how displeased she is to be "in the middle of nowhere" instead of in California. Back "home," she had some friends (Mabel and
May 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
jess  (bibliophilicjester)
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 11-ebook-borrows
This was great! Yay, haha. I've been struggling with all kinds of nonsense lately and haven't been reading as much as I'd like...but apparently that doesn't apply to delightfully creepy middle grade books!

Before I forget to mention it, White's website has links to something like parent guides to determine the level of creepy your wee reader can handle. Like content/trigger warnings for kiddos. I like it. I typically don't look into authors much, but he lives in NJ and I needed to know where he
Donald B. Stewart
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is seldom that a reader gets the chance to encounter an entirely new concept in story-making, one so innovative that the author actually gets the chance to fashion a new word to define it. Even more uncommon is the author who has the ability to fashion a worthy story around his new concept. In 'Shadow School', author J. A. White does both - inviting us through front door of a well-worn, cobweb-covered trope of a classic Victorian haunted house (with hints of ghostly inhabitants from the firs ...more
Mark Buxton
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it
My name is Cordelia, and I was angry when my parents made us move away from all my friends in California to a small town in New Hampshire. My new school looked like a huge old house, and it was easy to get lost walking through the hallways. I was thankful for Agnes, as she helped me navigate the school. However, she wasn't able to help me with everything. I was alarmed to find a small boy crying under the gym bleachers, but I soon discovered no one else could see him. That is, until I noticed Be ...more
Jacob Seifert
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I came by this book by way of absolutely loving The Thickety series. Both that series and this book were positioned as middle grade, but I found this book to be much more middle grade level in both terms of reading level and nuance (The Thickety series has much more complex plotting, world building, and characterizations, which is INCREDIBLE, but a little heavy for middle grade).

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Even though it is a book about ghosts, I don't think it's creepy at all, unless the
Cordelia is distraught after leaving her friends and San Francisco behind when her dad accepts a new job in small town New Hampshire. Her parents try to paint the rosy picture, but no friends and a strange school to go to each day leaves her sad.

One day, she hears a child crying by the gym bleachers and Cordelia goes to comfort him. Quickly she realizes he is a ghost...a ghost that is trapped within the eerie walls of Elijah Z. Shadow Middle School. Her parents, of course, do not believe her sto
hallie bertling
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
i love j.a. white's books!

he has such a way with witty kid dialogue and funny banter-- and always has the right balance of adventure and danger and mystery. and of course a healthy dose of the supernatural.

i won an ARC of shadow school: archimancy on instagram, and am really grateful to katherine tegen books & harper collins for letting me read it early!!

i loved the premise of only-child cordelia being thrown into a new school. (being an only child & a navy brat myself, boy do i know what it's l
Jennifer Hill
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cordelia's family has to move all the way from California to Vermont. Her new school looks like a haunted house: black iron gates, freaky paintings, weird hallways that don't make sense. As she is hiding out in the gym, she hears someone crying under the bleachers, it's a little boy. But as she tries to help him, she realizes he is a ghost! Then she finds out another student, Benji, can see ghosts too. They begin to realize the ghosts are trapped and they can set them free if they can figure out ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying
  • The Secret of White Stone Gate (Black Hollow Lane, #2)
  • Changeling (The Oddmire, #1)
  • Scritch Scratch
  • Owl's Outstanding Donuts
  • Stay
  • The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street
  • Dead Voices (Small Spaces, #2)
  • The Best of Iggy
  • A Talent for Trouble
  • Ghost Squad
  • Notorious
  • The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane (Black Hollow Lane, #1)
  • The Bone Garden
  • The Dark Lord Clementine
  • The Star Shepherd
  • The Gryphon's Lair (A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying, #2)
  • The Thief Knot (Greenglass House #4)
See similar books…
J. A. White lives in New Jersey with his wife, three sons, and a hamster named Ophelia that doesn’t like him very much. When he’s not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories (along with math and science and other important stuff). He wishes dragons were real because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.

Other books in the series

Shadow School (3 books)
  • Shadow School: Dehaunting (Shadow School, #2)
  • Shadow School #3: Phantoms

News & Interviews

  Signed up for the 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge and looking for tips on how to discover and read more books? We’ve got your back. (And if...
157 likes · 36 comments