Charlie Hernández & the league of shadows

Ryan Calejo

Book - 2018

"Steeped in Hispanic folklore since childhood, middle schooler Charlie Hernández learns the stories are true when, shortly after his parents disappearance, he grows horns and feathers and finds himself at the heart of a battle to save the world."--Colophon.

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Fantasy fiction
New York, New York : Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division 2018.
Main Author
Ryan Calejo (author)
First Aladdin hardcover edition
Physical Description
330 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 10-14.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Charlie Hernández loves his abuela's stories, drawn from Latino and Hispanic folklore, in particular legends about supernatural creatures ­some good, many evil. When Charlie's parents go missing, his house burns down, and he starts growing horns and sprouting feathers, Charlie, aided by intelligent classmate Violet Rey, begins to discover that the tales his grandmother passed down to him may not have been fiction after all, and may be more entwined with his destiny than he could have ever imagined. As Violet and Charlie get closer to the secret his family was shielding, they come across brujas, La Llorona, El Sombrerón, Justo Juez, and more, all while Charlie must try to hide his physical transformations from his best friends. Soon Charlie discovers that his life is deeply linked with the balance of peace between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. In chapters filled with fast-paced action, Calejo's novel is sure to draw in readers and introduce them to the magic, beauty, and history of Hispanic myths and legends (many of which are elaborated on further in a glossary for those unfamiliar with the stories). This is a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan's many series, particularly for those eager for mythologies beyond Greek and Roman stories. A cliff-hanger ending only adds to the appeal.--Selenia Paz Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Horn Book Review

In this fast-paced new adventure series full of fantastical creatures from Hispanic mythology, Charlie has listened to his abuela's scary tales for years. But suddenly, around the time of a mysterious fire, they seem to come to life. Charlie--now growing horns and feathers--and his crush, Violet, set off on a global chase to find his missing parents. At times frightening but consistently entertaining. Glos. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

He's not the "chosen one"but the bad guys think he is.Mexican-born, American-raised Charlie Hernndez just grew horns. And feathers. It's inconvenient. He's already feeling alone since his parents disappeared after their South Florida house burned down and he started living with Mrs. Wilson, an older woman who collects creepy-looking dolls. When the very cute, very cool Violet Rey discovers his secret, she becomes his unlikely companion as Charlie discovers a map inside an old locket, all he has left from his mother, that leads to a cemetery. All of a sudden, all the Hispanic (both Latin American and Iberian) myths he learned from his abuela leave the world of legend and reveal themselves in Miamiand everyone, good and bad, seems to be after Charlie. Legend and Catholicism mix to form a fantasy adventure that feels authentically Latin American in its syncretism. Charlie is smart, sensitive, and funny, and the characters he encounters, from La Llorona (Mexican-American) to El Sombrern (Guatemalan) to La Cuca (Brazilian), are both consistent with their folkloric roots and distinctive in their own rights. Words in Spanish are introduced in italics and printed in Roman text thereafter, and Charlie naturally code switches when talking to the villains and heroes and translating for Violet. (Though her surname indicates possible Latinx heritage, she presents white and speaks no Spanish.) The ending very obviously hints at a sequel with a new adventure, but it does fully wrap up the story.A winner for all kids, but it will be especially beloved by Latinx and Hispanic families who may recognize some of the characters. (glossary) (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows CHAPTER ONE Myths, my abuela used to say, are truths long forgotten by the world. Which is probably why she collected them the way some people collect stamps. Or mugs with pictures of kittens on them. She gathered tales of enormous, horned, snakelike sea creatures, of two-headed vampire dogs with glowing red eyes, of terrifying man-eating ghouls that stalk the night, searching for naughty children to kidnap. The myths came from all over the Spanish-speaking world. From Madrid to Quito. Mexico City to Buenos Aires. Most of them were hundreds of years old, almost as old as the cultures that had inspired them. Some had spread quickly around the globe, spread like wildfire. Others never even left the tiny rural towns where they'd first been told. All her life my grandma had been obsessed with Hispanic mythology, with all the legends and stories and folklore, and had spent years teaching them to me. When I was little we used to hang out in the kitchen on lazy Saturday afternoons, me in my Power Rangers pj's and chancletas, my abuela telling her favorite tales from memory, making the epic battles and ghoulish monsters come to life with every gesture of her brown and wrinkled hands. Afterward, she would quiz me on what I'd heard; we played this little game, sort of like Pictionary, where she'd draw a quick sketch of one of the characters, and I would have to guess who--or, in most cases, what--it was. If I got four in a row, she'd let me eat leche condensada right out of the can, which might've been the only thing I enjoyed more than listening to her stories. At the time I thought it was all just for fun, a cool little game between the two of us. But I should've known better; my abuela hated party games. Excerpted from Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.