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 Llorona—the weeping woman who appears near rivers and creeks looking for children to claim as her own—or the lesser-known duendes—green-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)