Ghost squad

Claribel A. Ortega

Book - 2020

"For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business. Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely's firefly spirits before it's too late."--Jacket flap.

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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Paranormal fiction
Published
New York, NY : Scholastic Press 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
237 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781338280128
1338280120
Main Author
Claribel A. Ortega (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Death puns, dark humor, mystical vibes, and pop-culture references to the 1980s and 1990s abound in this action-packed ghost hunt featuring two preteen friends trying to save their hometown, the very haunted St. Augustine, from a horde of vengeful spirits. Lucely Luna is quite familiar with ghosts—she still lives with a whole family of friendly, supportive, deceased Lunas, who fluctuate between spirit form and firefly form. But when the willow tree they reside in is threatened, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, must identify the culprit to save the Lunas' struggling Ghost Tour business—and the entire town. Along the way, Lucely and Syd learn about the bonds between friends and family as they encounter enchanted books, cryptic catacombs, and a coven of cats who are more than they appear. Shoutouts to Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, Hocus Pocus, The Goonies, and the like crop up continually as debut author Ortega expertly weaves a feel-good, phantasmagorical adventure that readers won't want to miss. Grades 4-6. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Death puns, dark humor, mystical vibes, and pop-culture references to the 1980s and 1990s abound in this action-packed ghost hunt featuring two preteen friends trying to save their hometown, the very haunted St. Augustine, from a horde of vengeful spirits. Lucely Luna is quite familiar with ghosts—she still lives with a whole family of friendly, supportive, deceased Lunas, who fluctuate between spirit form and firefly form. But when the willow tree they reside in is threatened, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, must identify the culprit to save the Lunas' struggling Ghost Tour business—and the entire town. Along the way, Lucely and Syd learn about the bonds between friends and family as they encounter enchanted books, cryptic catacombs, and a coven of cats who are more than they appear. Shoutouts to Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, Hocus Pocus, The Goonies, and the like crop up continually as debut author Ortega expertly weaves a feel-good, phantasmagorical adventure that readers won't want to miss. Grades 4-6. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

When Dominican-American Lucely Luna, 12, learns that her single father might lose their house, her primary concern is for the myriad ghosts of her family, who inhabit the willow tree out back as fireflies, at least when they're not manifesting in human form. When her grandmother's spirit warns her of a coming darkness before falling dormant, Luna and her best friend, Syd Faires, seek to revive Mamá. Borrowing a book of magic from Syd's grandmother, who owns an occult store, they cast a spell that unleashes malevolent forces upon the town of St. Augustine—one that they must reverse to defeat the evil that seeks to destroy them all. With this delightfully spooky adventure, Ortega draws upon her Dominican heritage to craft a heartwarming story with a strong focus on family genetic and found. A peppering of pop culture references—a nod to Ghostbusters, a clowder of cats named for Goonies characters—add humor, but it's the personal touches, such as Lucely's opinionated, ever-present ancestors; her dedication to those she loves; and an emphasis on Latinx food, love, and folklore, that gives this debut its distinctive spirit. Ages 8–12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. (Apr.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4 Up–Looking for a Halloween read? Look no further. Something strange is happening to Lucely's ghost family of fireflies, known as cocuyos—they are fading away. They tell her that something evil is coming. In an attempt to revive her Mama Teresa, Lucely and her best friend Syd perform a spell to raise the dead, but accidentally awaken old evil spirits that want to revenge against their town. Lucely, Syd, and Syd's grandmother Babette (who is a witch) must undo the curse and save her ghost family. This is a fast-paced adventure rooted in Dominican mythology and packed with action and humor. Readers are pulled into the family's close bond and supernatural world easily, with tender moments like abuela singing Lucely to sleep during a storm and the collective urgency as Lucely feels Mama's spirit quieting. VERDICT Ortega's debut is filled with action, humor, and originality. Lucely and Syd's adventure gives readers paranormal thrills akin to Ghostbusters and the Goonies, from a refreshingly different cultural perspective.—Ruth Guerrier-Pierre, New York Public Library Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Casting a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits that wreak havoc throughout St. Augustine, Lucely and Syd team up with the latter’s grandmother and tabby cat to break the curse and save Lucely’s firefly spirits. A first novel. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A New York Times bestseller!Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business.Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely's firefly spirits before it's too late.With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.