Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-In this collection of short stories, Garza writes with a style attuned to the rich oral traditions of Mexican folklore. The settings will be familiar to urban teens and reflect the societal issues prevalent in North and South America today. Garza attempts to develop plot lines through a series of eerie encounters. This is most satisfactorily achieved in two out of the 12 short stories, "Grandpa Tito's Book" and "Tunnels." In these two tales, the author thrusts underdogs into a position of heroism despite the characters' disability and/or socioeconomic standing. The protagonists ultimately slay the ghostly figures and save family and friends from their terrifying foes. These two stories will resonate with many hi-lo readers in the middle school age group. The endings of the other 10 stories are somewhat anticlimactic and may prevent some readers from finishing the book. VERDICT A supplemental purchase for schools that have a high population of bilingual students with an interest in hi-lo titles.-Melissa Martinez, Pantoja Charter School, PA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
An entertaining bilingual collection of short stories that feature a creepy assortment of Mexican-inspired ghosts, witches, monsters, and more. Each of the 12 chapters offers a different contemporary story following middle school-aged protagonists who come into contact with a frightening figure, like the infamous La Lloronathe weeping woman who appears near rivers and creeks looking for children to claim as her ownor the lesser-known duendesgreen-skinned goblins that wreak havoc. Although some readers may be initially confused that each story focuses on a new set of characters, the separate tales make for ideal campfire or chapter-a-night read-alouds. As a bonus, all of the chapters are accompanied by an equally scary illustration of the spirits, brujas, and devils. Although all are written in clear, easy-to-access prose, a few of the stories stand out as particularly memorable: the titular showdown between La Llorona and the Donkey Lady as they fight to possess a disbelieving Margarito; the older-skewing "Tunnels," about Joe, who encounters a crime-fighting Chupacabras while exploring a border-town cave; and the eerie "Can I Keep Him?" in which Nikko adopts a dog with special powers. Bilingual readers can read the lightly macabre stories twice, since they repeat in Spanish after the last chapter. Older middle-grade readers will find these Latin American horror stories deliciously short but spooky. (Short stories. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.