Talk Chisme to Me: July Releases by Latinx Authors

Yes, I am currently on hiatus, but I didn’t want to miss on opportunity to highlight books by Latinx authors coming out this summer. Be sure to check out these releases from your local library or purchase them from an indie bookstore (support these Black-owned bookstores). Summer is usually when book releases slow down a bit, so this list is very small. But that just means you have time to support all of these authors! Graphics are linked to Goodreads and be sure to check out the following links as well.

Check out this Anti-Racist Reading List.

Donate to organizations fighting for racial justice here.

Read up on #8toAbolition.

1. Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse by Chantel Acevedo

Why I Am Excited? I can’t wait to see more books that diversify well-known myths and this one sounds like such a delight.

The first in a middle grade fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology.

Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret.

Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.

When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s exceptionally nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.

As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse . . . or will it undo them all?”

2. All These Monsters by Amy Tintera

Why am I excited? You don’t get to see too many YA sci-fi books with Latinx leads, so I am really looking forward to this one. I also heard it has major Pacific Rim vibes which is such a fun movie.

“From New York Times best-selling author Amy Tintera, a high-stakes sci-fi adventure about a teen girl who will do anything to escape her troubled home—even if that means joining a dangerous monster-fighting squad. Perfect for fans of Warcross and Renegades.

Seventeen-year-old Clara is ready to fight back. Fight back against her abusive father, fight back against the only life she’s ever known, and most of all, fight back against scrabs, the earth-dwelling monsters that are currently ravaging the world. So when an opportunity arises for Clara to join an international monster-fighting squad, she jumps at the chance.

When Clara starts training with her teammates, however, she realizes what fighting monsters really means: sore muscles, exhaustion, and worst of all, death. Scrabs are unpredictable, violent, and terrifying. But as Clara gains confidence in her battle skills, she starts to realize scrabs might not be the biggest evil. The true monsters are the ones you least expect.”

3. Running by Natalia Sylvester

Why am I excited? This is the political YA novel I’ve been waiting for and I love that it gets to right down to addressing political views in Latinx households. I am ready.

“When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, Mari starts to see him with new eyes. A novel about waking up and standing up, and what happens when you stop seeing your dad as your hero—while the whole country is watching.

In this thoughtful, authentic, humorous, and gorgeously written novel about privacy, waking up, and speaking up, Senator Anthony Ruiz is running for president. Throughout his successful political career he has always had his daughter’s vote, but a presidential campaign brings a whole new level of scrutiny to sheltered fifteen-year-old Mariana and the rest of her Cuban American family, from a 60 Minutes–style tour of their house to tabloids doctoring photos and inventing scandals. As tensions rise within the Ruiz family, Mari begins to learn about the details of her father’s political positions, and she realizes that her father is not the man she thought he was.

But how do you find your voice when everyone’s watching? When it means disagreeing with your father—publicly? What do you do when your dad stops being your hero? Will Mari get a chance to confront her father? If she does, will she have the courage to seize it?”


4. The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas

Why am I excited? We need more Latinx MG books starring boy characters and I am so excited to see this one also includes a witch which I am always here for.

In this magical middle-grade debut novel from Adrianna Cuevas, The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, a Cuban American boy must use his secret ability to communicate with animals to save the inhabitants of his town when they are threatened by a tule vieja, a witch that transforms into animals.

All Nestor Lopez wants is to live in one place for more than a few months and have dinner with his dad.

When he and his mother move to a new town to live with his grandmother after his dad’s latest deployment, Nestor plans to lay low. He definitely doesn’t want to anyone find out his deepest secret: that he can talk to animals.

But when the animals in his new town start disappearing, Nestor’s grandmother becomes the prime suspect after she is spotted in the woods where they were last seen. As Nestor investigates the source of the disappearances, he learns that they are being seized by a tule vieja―a witch who can absorb an animal’s powers by biting it during a solar eclipse. And the next eclipse is just around the corner…

Now it’s up to Nestor’s extraordinary ability and his new friends to catch the tule vieja―and save a place he might just call home.”

Which of these are you most excited for? Have you preordered any of these? Any releases by Latinx authors in July I might have missed?

Talk Chisme to Me: Upcoming June Releases by Latinx Authors

I planned to post this one on Sunday but decided to wait a couple of days to not distract from real-world issues happening right now. Please remember white and non-Black PoC that just because you are now waking up to what it happening in the Black community doesn’t mean that that they have not already been dealing with police brutality for generations. Your comfort is not more important, you having a “safe place” from real-world events is a sign of your privileged and you need to learn when to speak up and when, frankly, to keep your mouth closed. If I sound testy, it’s because I’ve been really appalled by some of the things I have seen in this community. It is not surprising but I am getting tired of the seeing so many asked to be coddled during this time. This isn’t about you. Take a step back and figure out where you stand and then act. There are several ways that you can help right now and I will be listing links where you can financially contribute and add your voice to petitions.

Split your donation between organizations (Black Lives Matter, National Bail Out, etc) here.

Updated Twitter thread of specific bail funds, relief funds, and organizations that are still accepting donations here.

Twitter thread of mutual aid funds that you can donate to here.

Twitter thread of Goggle Docs that include petitions you can sign and calls you can make here.

Another way to help if you aren’t able to contribute money is to give this video a watch/let it run in the background (let it run all the way though, don’t skip ads), the ad revenue will be donated to Black Lives Matter organizations.

I started these posts with the intention of highlighting upcoming books by Latinx authors that need more attention during this pandemic, but I might just keep doing them every month from here on out. As always, if you are able, please buy these from your local indie bookstore (here is a list of Black-owned book stores that you should check out) or check them out from your library (if it’s been reopened). And I am always on the lookout for more books by Latinx authors to read and promote, from middle grade to adult. If there is a book that I don’t mention, please share them with me in the comments. Graphics are linked to Goodreads.

Note: Adriana @ Boricua Reads puts together a more comprehensive list of Latinx releases every season, so be sure to check out their summer 2020 list here!

1. The Way to Rio Luna by Zoraida Córdova

Why I Am Excited? I am such a fan of Zoraida Córdova’s novels and I cannot wait to see what she does with her first middle grade novel. Also, I love books that focus on sibling connections.

For fans of The Land of Stories comes an adventure that reveals the secret warnings hidden inside all classic tales — beware fairyland at all costs.

Eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic. He knows that pixie dust is real, that wardrobes act as portals, and that rabbit holes lead to Wonderland. Most of all, he believes that his older sister, Pili, is waiting for him somewhere in Rio Luna, the enchanted land in their favorite book of fairy tales.

Danny doesn’t care what the adults say. He knows that Pili isn’t another teen runaway. When the siblings were placed in separate foster homes, she promised that she’d come back for him, and they’d build a new life together in Rio Luna.

Yet as the years pass, Danny’s faith begins to dim. But just when he thinks it might be time to put foolish fairy tales behind him, he finds a mysterious book in the library. It’s a collection of stories that contain hints about how to reach another world. A map to Rio Luna . . . and to Pili.

As his adventure takes him from New York to Ecuador to Brazil, Danny learns that meeting your favorite characters isn’t always a dream come true. But nothing will stop him from finding his sister . . . even if it means standing up to the greatest threat the magical realm has ever known.”

2. Where We Go From Here by Lucas Rocha

Why am I excited? We do not have enough YA novels that talk about HIV, so I am really looking forward to this one. This is also one of the few novels from a Latin American author that has been translated to English. Here’s hoping we see more of these.

An absorbing debut novel about three gay young adults in Brazil whose lives become intertwined in the face of HIV, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Bill Konigsberg.

Ian has just been diagnosed with HIV.

Victor, to his great relief, has tested negative.

Henrique has been living with HIV for the past three years.

When Victor finds himself getting tested for HIV for the first time, he can’t help but question his entire relationship with Henrique, the guy he has-had-been dating. See, Henrique didn’t disclose his positive HIV status to Victor until after they had sex, and even though Henrique insisted on using every possible precaution, Victor is livid.

That’s when Victor meets Ian, a guy who’s also getting tested for HIV. But Ian’s test comes back positive, and his world is about to change forever. Though Victor is loath to think about Henrique, he offers to put the two of them in touch, hoping that perhaps Henrique can help Ian navigate his new life. In the process, the lives of Ian, Victor, and Henrique will become intertwined in a story of friendship, love, and stigma-a story about hitting what you think is rock bottom, but finding the courage and support to keep moving forward.

Set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this utterly engrossing debut by Brazilian author Lucas Rocha calls back to Alex Sanchez’s Rainbow Boys series, bringing attention to how far we’ve come with HIV, while shining a harsh light on just how far we have yet to go.”

3. Category Five by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Why am I excited? I am always on the lookout for diverse horror novels and I am really curious to see what Dávila Cardinal does with the sequel to Five Midnights.

Category Five is a new supernatural thriller from Ann Dávila Cardinal, set against the backdrop of a post-hurricane Puerto Rico

After the hurricane, some see destruction and some smell blood.

The tiny island of Vieques, located just off the northeastern coast of the main island of Puerto Rico, is trying to recover after hurricane Maria, but the already battered island is now half empty. To make matter worse, as on the main island, developers have come in to buy up the land at a fraction of its worth, taking advantage of the island when it is down.

Lupe, Javier, and Marisol are back to investigate a series of murders that follow in the wake of a hurricane and in the shadow of a new supernatural threat.”


4. Dactyl Hill Squad: Thunder Run by Daniel José Older

Why am I excited? I full admit that I have not picked up this fun middle grade series yet, but with the third book coming out, it is the perfect time to binge read them.

“Magdalys’s connection with the dinosaurs has led the US Army to some important victories, but the Civil War’s not over yet and the squad finds itself fighting deep in the Louisiana bayou. Then General Ulysses S. Grant himself entrusts Magdalys with a top secret mission — one that the very success of the Union depends on. Because as the friends will soon find out, the United States has more than one enemy.

Imperial troops are gathering along the Mexican border, forming an alliance with the Confederates in pursuit of spreading slavery, and suddenly the Union is facing battles on two fronts. But they are barely holding their own against one army. How can they possibly defeat two?

As New Orleans is surrounded, and desperate battle plans laid, Magdalys and her friends set off to disrupt a scheme that would destroy everything she cares about. But to do it, she’ll have to push her dinowrangling skills further than she’s ever been able to before. Can Magdalys defeat the fiercest rival she’s ever faced and save the fractured nation?”

5. Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster

Why am I excited? Latinx authors of middle grade books are thriving this year and I am so excited to welcome this debut author and her enchanting sounding adventure.

“On Emblem Island all are born knowing their fate. Their lifelines show the course of their life and an emblem dictates how they will spend it.

Twelve-year-old Tor Luna was born with a leadership emblem, just like his mother. But he hates his mark and is determined to choose a different path for himself. So, on the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, where Emblemites throw their wishes into a bonfire in the hopes of having them granted, Tor wishes for a different power.

The next morning Tor wakes up to discover a new marking on his skin…the symbol of a curse that has shortened his lifeline, giving him only a week before an untimely death. There is only one way to break the curse, and it requires a trip to the notorious Night Witch.

With only his village’s terrifying, ancient stories as a guide, and his two friends Engle and Melda by his side, Tor must travel across unpredictable Emblem Island, filled with wicked creatures he only knows through myths, in a race against his dwindling lifeline.”

6. On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez

Why am I excited? I have been thinking about this book for months and I cannot wait to read some more middle grade magical realism novels.

Minerva must take care of her sisters after her mother’s disappearance.

Twelve-year-old Minerva Soledad Miranda is determined to reach her goals, despite shouldering more responsibility than the other kids at school–like caring for her two sisters while her mom works two jobs. But one night, Minerva’s mom doesn’t come home, and Minerva has to figure out what to do. Was Mamá snapped up by ICE? Will the girls be sent to foster homes or holding centers for migrant kids? Minerva and her sisters can’t let anyone know Mamá has disappeared. They’ll just pretend everything is normal until she comes back.

Minerva’s plan falls apart the first afternoon, when her baby sister throws a tantrum during Minerva’s audition for Peter Pan. But as the days pass and Minerva grows ever more worried about her mother, something magical seems to be watching out for them: leaving them cupcakes, helping her find money, even steering them to friends and distant family who can help. Eventually, Minerva must make the hardest choice of her life. And when she does, she’ll be prepared to face life’s challenges–with friendship, hope, and a little bit of fairy magic.”

7. The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre

Why am I excited? I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this one and it is just as sweet as it sounds. You can read my thoughts on this one here.

“Twelve-year-old Zoey comes from a family of dreamers. From startup companies to selling motorcycles, her dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Her family being together is all that matters to her.

So Zoey’s world is turned upside down when Dad announces that he’s heading to a new job in New York City without her. Instead, Zoey and her older brother José will stay with their Poppy at the Jersey Shore. At first, Zoey feels as lost and alone as she did after her Mami died. But soon she’s distracted by an even bigger problem: the bowling alley that Poppy has owned for decades is in danger of closing!

After befriending a group of kids practicing for a summer bowling tournament, Zoey hatches a grand plan of her own to save the bowling alley. It seems like she’s found the perfect way to weave everyone’s dreams together…until unexpected events turn Zoey’s plan into one giant nightmare.

Now, with her new friends counting on her and her family’s happiness hanging in the balance, Zoey will have to decide what her dream is—and how hard she’s willing to fight for it.”

8. Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendariz

Why am I excited? I really wish we had had these Latinx books around growing up because I would have loved to have followed Julieta on these amazing adventures.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets Merci Suarez in this smart young middle-grade mystery about a diamond gone missing from the Louvre and the sweet and spunky girl who cracks the case.

Nine-year-old Julieta is finally about to put a purple pin in her family’s world traveling map! She’s off to Paris to help her art-handler dad collect pieces for a new exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Sadly, they must leave Julieta’s very pregnant mother behind, but they’re sure they’ll be back before the baby is born. Julieta sees the best of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, and plenty of great art. But things go awry when she and Dad walk in on a thief stealing the Louvre’s most prized piece–a priceless cursed diamond with a shady history. When Julieta runs for help, she accidentally frees the thief instead! Now Dad’s job is in danger and he’s become a suspect. Can Julieta determine who the thief really is before it’s too late?”

9. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Why I Am Excited? Did you know I am a fan of Silvia Moreno-Garcia? Trick question because if you know me, you know this. I feel so lucky to have been sent an ARC of this one from the publisher and it really was a dream come true to see the incomparable SMG write a horror novel. I loved this one so much and can’t wait to share my thoughts. Review for this one coming very soon.

“From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico — and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.”

Which of these are you most excited for? Have you preordered any of these? Any releases by Latinx authors in June I might have missed?

Talk Chisme to Me: May Releases By Latinx Authors

When I first made this post, there were a good number of May releases I wanted to highlight, but this number has gotten smaller and smaller as several releases have been pushed back to later in the year (as a result, you can expect me to make posts like this for at least June and July as well). However, there are still a few books being released by Latinx authors that need our support in May. If you are able, please preorder these from your local indie bookstore. Graphics are linked to Goodreads.

1. Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Why I Am Excited? This is one of my favorite Middle Grade series. I love how much room Hernandez gives his characters to grow and thrive. I especially love that he writes sensitive male characters which I think is especially important to see in middle grade books. Also his adult characters are amazing. Read my review of this one here.

“Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents the sequel to the critically acclaimed Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence. Among many other challenges, Sal and Gabi have to try to make everything right with our world when there is a rogue Gabi from another universe running loose.

Sal Vidon doesn’t want to live a Mami-free life. Pulling different versions of his mother from other universes is how he copes with missing his own, who died years ago. But Sal’s father, a calamity physicist, is trying to shut down all the wormholes Sal creates, because Papi thinks they are eroding the very fabric of our world. All of Papi’s efforts are in vain, however, because a Gabi from another universe has gone rogue and is popping up all over the place, seeking revenge for the fact that her world has been destroyed. While Sal and Gabi work together to keep both Papi and Rogue Gabi under control, they also have to solve the mystery of Yasmany, who has gone missing from school. Could it have something to do with the wormhole in the back of his locker?

Readers who enjoyed Sal and Gabi Break the Universe will relish being back in the world of Culeco Academy and the Coral Castle along with such unforgettable characters as American Stepmom, the Gabi-Dads, Principal Torres, and the sassy entropy sweeper. With multiple Sals and Gabis in charge, it’s no wonder this sequel offers even more hilarious weirdness and love than the first book.”

2. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Why am I excited? It’s Elizabeth Acevedo!!!! Her words are magic and I am so excited for her third novel. Recently learned this one is sapphic and friends to lovers which makes me even more eager to read it. Acevedo’s work is also the only books I insist on having the audio versions of. If you have never listened to her narrate her novels, you are missing out.

“Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.
In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.”

3. Santiago’s Road Home by Alexandra Diaz

Why am I excited? I am seeing several middle grade novels written about immigration and am happy to see Latinx writers have the opportunity to write about issues that directly affect their communities.

“A young boy gets detained by ICE while crossing the border from Mexico to the United States in this timely and unflinching novel by award-winning author Alexandra Diaz.

The bed creaks under Santiago’s shivering body. They say a person’s life flashes by before dying. But it’s not his whole life. Just the events that led to this. The important ones, and the ones Santiago would rather forget.

The coins in Santiago’s hand are meant for the bus fare back to his abusive abuela’s house. Except he refuses to return; he won’t be missed. His future is uncertain until he meets the kind, maternal María Dolores and her young daughter, Alegría, who help Santiago decide what comes next: He will accompany them to el otro lado, the United States of America. They embark with little, just backpacks with water and a bit of food. To travel together will require trust from all parties, and Santiago is used to going it alone. None of the three travelers realizes that the journey through Mexico to the border is just the beginning of their story.”

4. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Why am I excited? Jenny Torres Sanchez writes some of the most heartbreaking and compelling stories. I am especially paying attention to this one as it centers Central American teens and their journey to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

“A ripped-from-the-headlines novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pulga has his dreams.
Chico has his grief.
Pequeña has her pride.

And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home.

Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life–if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.

In this powerful story inspired by current events, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to painful, poignant, vivid life. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.”

5. A Taste of Sag by Yaffa S. Santos

Why am I excited? I don’t read a lot of romance, but I want to pick up more that are written by marginalized authors, especially Latinx authors. This one features food, magical realism elements, and a hate-to-love romance (which is one of my favorites).

“Lumi Santana is a chef with a gift: she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she puts her heart and savings into opening her own fusion restaurant in Upper Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines she is inspired by.

When her eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. After he goes out of his way to bake a tart to prove her wrong in a dispute, she is so irritated by his smug attitude that she vows to herself never to taste his cooking.

But after she succumbs to the temptation and takes a bite one day and is overcome with shocking emotion, she finds herself beginning to crave his cooking and struggling to stay on task with her plan to save up and move on as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Julien’s obsessed secretary watches with gnashed teeth as they grow closer and becomes determined to get Lumi out of her way permanently.”

Are you excited for these releases as well? Any releases by Latinx authors in May I might have missed that you are excited for?

Talk Chisme to Me: Upcoming April 2020 Releases

Yes, I am back again with another Talk Chisme to Me post! This time I am highlighting April releases by Latinx authors. Most are worried about promotion for their books, so this is my way of shining a little light on upcoming releases. Please consider preordering from your local independent bookstore. Graphics are linked to Goodreads.

1. Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

Why I Am Excited? I have already read this one and people, you are not ready for all the cuteness and fun paranormal adventures! I preordered my copy after finishing the ARC and you need to do the same. Read my review here.

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.”

2. The Breakbeat Poets, Vol.4: Latinext edited by Felicia Rose Chavez, José Olivarez, and Willie Perdomo

Why am I excited? I am really eager to get into more poetry and specifically by Latinx authors so this is perfect.

“In the dynamic tradition of the BreakBeat Poets anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT celebrates the embodied narratives of Latinidad. Poets speak from an array of nationalities, genders, sexualities, races, and writing styles, staking a claim to our cultural and civic space. Like Hip-Hop, we honor what was, what is, and what’s next.”

3. Into the Tall, Tall Grass by Loriel Ryon

Why am I excited? I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this one and was blown away. It was so magical and I really appreciated how it handled grief.  Look for my review this weekend!

“A girl journeys across her family’s land to save her grandmother’s life in this captivating and magical debut that’s perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

Yolanda Rodríguez-O’Connell has a secret. All the members of her family have a magical gift—all, that is, except for Yolanda. Still, it’s something she can never talk about, or the townsfolk will call her family brujas—witches. When her grandmother, Wela, falls into an unexplained sleep, Yolanda is scared. Her father is off fighting in a faraway war, her mother died long ago, and Yolanda has isolated herself from her best friend and twin sister. If she loses her grandmother, who will she have left?

When a strange grass emerges in the desert behind their house, Wela miraculously wakes, begging Yolanda to take her to the lone pecan tree left on their land. Determined not to lose her, Yolanda sets out on this journey with her sister, her ex-best friend, and a boy who has a crush on her. But what is the mysterious box that her grandmother needs to find? And how will going to the pecan tree make everything all right? Along the way, Yolanda discovers long-buried secrets that have made their family gift a family curse. But she also finds the healing power of the magic all around her, which just might promise a new beginning.”

4. We Didn’t Ask For This by Adi Alsaid

Why am I excited? I love the sound of this one and anytime you put a bunch of characters together who are very different, it makes for some interesting dynamics.

“Every year, lock-in night changes lives. This year, it might just change the world.

Central International School’s annual lock-in is legendary — and for six students, this year’s lock-in is the answer to their dreams. The chance to finally win the contest. Kiss the guy. Make a friend. Become the star of a story that will be passed down from student to student for years to come.

But then a group of students, led by Marisa Cuevas, stage an eco-protest and chain themselves to the doors, vowing to keep everyone trapped inside until their list of demands is met. While some students rally to the cause, others are devastated as they watch their plans fall apart. And Marisa, once so certain of her goals, must now decide just how far she’ll go to attain them.”

5. What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado

Why am I excited? Yes, I am so excited to see more biracial kids in middle grade books! I love that there are authors out there who will write books like this for kids who rarely see themselves represented.

“STAY IN YOUR LANE.” Stephen doesn’t want to hear that–he wants to have no lane.

Anything his friends can do, Stephen should be able to do too, right? So when they dare each other to sneak into an abandoned building, he doesn’t think it’s his lane, but he goes. Here’s the thing, though: Can he do everything his friends can? Lately, he’s not so sure. As a mixed kid, he feels like he’s living in two worlds with different rules–and he’s been noticing that strangers treat him differently than his white friends . . .

So what’ll he do? Hold on tight as Stephen swerves in and out of lanes to find out which are his–and who should be with him.

Torrey Maldonado, author of the highly acclaimed Tight, does a masterful job showing a young boy coming of age in a racially split world, trying to blaze a way to be his best self.”

6. The Water Bears by Kim Baker

Why am I excited? I am loving that we are getting so many cute middle grade reads this year. It also sounds like this one may have some fantasy or magical realism elements.

“A story about a boy recovering from a bear attack with the help of his friends and maybe, some magic.

All Newt Gomez wants for his thirteenth birthday is a bike. After surviving a bear attack last year, he thinks this isn’t an unreasonable request. Instead, his hardworking parents give him a former taco truck to help him get around the wacky island where they live in the Pacific Northwest. And then Newt and his best friend Ethan find a life-sized wooden bear washed up on the shore. Ethan is convinced the bear grants wishes; Newt doesn’t know what to think.

Newt also has a big decision ahead: go to middle school on the island, or to the mainland where his warm extended family lives? There, he won’t be the only Latinx kid; he doesn’t have bad dreams about the attack, and not everyone knows what happened to him. Newt secretly plots to move to his abuela’s house, but his truck is stolen with the maybe-magic bear inside. He must confront his fears and adapt to the reality of a world that’s often uncertain, but always full of salvageable wonders.”

7. A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen

Why am I excited? This one sounds like it is going to have a really unique style and though it sounds incredible sad, it also sounds really moving.

For fans of Girl in Pieces, All the Bright Places, and Girl, Interrupted comes a haunting and breathtaking YA contemporary debut novel that packs a powerful message: hope can be found in the darkness.

Seventeen-year-old Ellie had no hope left. Yet the day after she dies by suicide, she finds herself in the midst of an out-of-body experience. She is a spectator, swaying between past and present, retracing the events that unfolded prior to her death.

But there are gaps in her memory, fractured pieces Ellie is desperate to re-assemble. There’s her mother, a songbird who wanted to break free from her oppressive cage. The boy made of brushstrokes and goofy smiles who brought color into a gray world. Her brooding father, with his sad puppy eyes and clenched fists. Told in epistolary-like style, this deeply moving novel sensitively examines the beautiful and terrible moments that make up a life and the possibilities that live in even the darkest of places. Perfect for fans of the critically-acclaimed SpeakI’ll Give You the Sun, and If I Stay.”

8. Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

Why am I excited? I am a huge fan of the Brooklyn Brujas series and am so excited for another adventure from this author. Also, I will never say no to Latinx fantasy.

“I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.”

Which of these are you most excited for? Have you preordered any of these? Any releases by Latinx authors in April I might have missed?