The Logroño family is preparing for the arrival of the Magi on Día de los Reyes, but surprise visitors throw a wrench in the works in Meriano’s sequel to A Dash of Trouble (2018).
After the fiasco around Día de Muertos, Leo has finally been initiated into the family bruja tradition and has begun her apprenticeship in the culinary and magical arts. As the winter holiday break wanes, Leo feels pulled in too many directions: by her mother’s expectations, her sisters’ advice, and the desire to maintain friendships despite her family’s secrets. When she is awakened one morning by the corporeal spirit, she knows something terrible must be amiss and worries that her untrained magical abilities might be the cause. Her abuela has not crossed over alone, however; at least five others with unfinished business have arrived in Rose Hill ahead of Día de los Reyes, leaving trails of marigold petals in their wakes. Leo must find balance between family and friendships in order to return the spirits to el Otro Lado before they are cursed to wander, like La Llorona. Meriano’s magical contemporary world is steeped in Latinx culture, and though Leo faces fantastical complications, her struggle to find her place is a universal adolescent experience. Leo and her family are Mexican-American and live in a fairly diverse small town in Texas.
A sweet second helping that will leave readers hungry for more. (Fantasy. 9-13)