I was so thrilled to discover the first Love Sugar Magic book, A Dash of Trouble when I was in search of #OwnVoices books for Latinx Heritage Month. It was the perfect blend of culture, humor, and magic!
Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
For kids who like the TV show Wizards of Waverly Place, this chapter book has same light hearted magical but with more Latino culture. Leo (Leonora) is the youngest sister in the Logrono family. They own a panaderia (bakery) that makes the most delicious pan dulce, cookies and cakes around. Leo isn’t allowed to skip school to help prepare for their busiest day, Dia de los Muertes so she sneaks out of school to check on the bakery when it seems suspiciously dark. She discovers that her family are brujas (witches), and their kitchen magic adds a special ingredient to their baked goods. She learns that she’s still too young to learn about magic so she decides to learn on her own. Unfortunately, when she tries out her magic to help a friend, things get out of control. This is a fun series for anyone who ever felt that they were the last to try things in their family! You can also try some magic on your own! Recipes are included in the back for cookies, Pan De Muerto Mensajaro (a type of sweet bread), and Alegrías (Amaranth bars) which do not require cooking.[chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Today, please welcome author Anna Meriano with her list of 9 Fantastic & Diverse Middle Grade Fantasy Books. We are part of her blog tour for her newest book Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits. We will be giving away a pair of her books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter and be sure to check out the other stops of the blog tour!
Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits by Anna Meriano
Leonora Logroño has finally been introduced to her family’s bakery bruja magic—but that doesn’t mean everything is all sugar and spice. Her special power hasn’t shown up yet, her family still won’t let her perform her own spells, and they now act rude every time Caroline comes by to help Leo with her magic training.
She knows that the family magic should be kept secret, but Caroline is her best friend, and she’s been feeling lonely ever since her mom passed away. Why should Leo have to choose between being a good bruja and a good friend?
In the midst of her confusion, Leo wakes up one morning to a startling sight: her dead grandmother, standing in her room, looking as alive as she ever was. Both Leo and her abuela realize this might mean trouble—especially once they discover that Abuela isn’t the only person in town who has been pulled back to life from the other side.
Spirits are popping up all over town, causing all sorts of trouble! Is this Leo’s fault? And can she reverse the spell before it’s too late?
Anna Meriano’s unforgettable family of brujas returns in a new story featuring a heaping helping of amor, azúcar, and magia. Out February 5, 2019! [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
A educator’s guide to the Love Sugar Magic Series is here: LOVE SUGAR MAGIC A SPRINKLE OF SPIRITS EDUCATORS GUIDE
9 Fantastic & Diverse Middle Grade Fantasy Books
1. Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender
I’ve shouted about this book in a few other places already, but I absolutely love it so it had to top my list. Caroline, a lonely twelve-year-old living in the US Virgin Islands, searches for her missing mother with the help of a beautiful and compelling new girl in school who can see spirits just like Caroline can. With a light layer of ghostly fantasy augmenting a heartfelt story about growing up in a world of hard truths, Hurricane Child is both heartbreaking and hopeful. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
2. The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
This book made me laugh out loud, and I can’t wait for the sequel (coming out soon at the end of February)! Kiranmala gets a terrible twelfth-birthday surprise when spit-spewing demons attack her house, and it only gets worse when she discovers that her parents have been trapped in the black hole of a collapsing spell. But with the help of two strange princes, she travels to a magical dimension to save her parents and herself. Lots of fun riddles, creepy creatures, and a powerful princess ready to take on astronomical odds make this book an amazing read. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
3. The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
This book is my favorite type of fantasy: a strange world ruined by adults but redeemable through the actions of young heroes. Oscar is a magician’s apprentice in a town where people rely on spells and charms to make their lives easier. When a strange monster attacks and a mysterious plague begins to affect the children of rich townspeople, Oscar and his new friend Callie must discover how his master’s spells have put the town in danger. His narration and behavior suggest that Oscar is on the autism spectrum, and his unique point of view makes him the perfect person to solve the mystery. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
4. The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
A fast-paced adventure in the style of Jumanji, this book provides an unforgettable setting that I wanted to explore for myself despite the dangers! When her (annoying) little brother accidentally gets sucked into the mysterious board game her aunt gave her for her birthday, twelve-year-old Farah and her friends have to race to win a series of challenges in an ever-changing, magically constructed world before they too are trapped inside forever. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
5. The Storm Runner by J C Cervantes
Fun fact: my little brother picked this up at the bookstore and said, “It almost feels unfair that some books get amazing covers like this,” and I couldn’t help but agree! Zane Obispo is shocked when new girl Brooks tells him that he, his family, and the extinct volcano in his backyard are all part of a Mayan prophecy that could end the world, but when the forces of ancient gods threaten his loyal dog Rosie, he’s determined to do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means pushing himself past what he thinks he is capable of. This book delivers so many great Percy Jackson feelings with a fresh voice and a diverse cast. [middle grade, ages 10 and up]
6. The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
Another one I talk about a lot because I can’t get over how much I love it. This story, set in medieval France and illuminated with margin art throughout, follows three children with magical religious powers who team up to avoid persecution and to save sacred Jewish texts from being burned by the Catholic French government. If that all sounds a bit heavy, know that there is also a magical holy dog who poops on things and several disreputable storytellers squabbling about the details of the narration. The story is hopeful, hilarious, thought-provoking, and so much fun. [middle grade, ages 10 and up]
7. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. Corinne La Mer doesn’t believe the scary stories about creatures called jumbies living in the forests of her island home. But after she chases an agouti into the forest and sees a pair of glowing eyes follow her out, she doesn’t know what to think, especially when a mysterious woman appears the next day and tries to ensnare Corinne’s father. It turns out the jumbies are real, and they want their island back! Full of magic and adventure, this Caribbean retelling is perfect for fans of all things creepy. [middle grade, ages 9 and up]
8. Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca
This story combines Shakespeare, a baking contest, magical mayhem, and rhyming couplets, making it an absolutely delicious read. It will be out in June of 2019, so mark your calendars now! [middle grade, ages 9 and up]
Love Sugar Magic: A Pair of Books GIVEAWAY
We will be giving away a pair of her books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter and be sure to check out the other stops of the blog tour!
Anna Meriano is the author of the “Love Sugar Magic” series, which has received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness. A Houston native, she graduated from Rice University with a degree in English and earned her MFA in writing for children from the New School. Anna works as a tutor and part-time teacher with Writers in the Schools, a Houston nonprofit that brings creative writing instruction into public schools. In her free time, she likes to knit, study American Sign Language, and play full-contact quidditch.
LOVE SUGAR MAGIC: A SPRINKLE OF SPIRTS BLOG TOUR
February 5 Nerdy Book Club
February 7 Las Musas Reads
February 9 Charlotte’s Library
February 10 A Library Mama
February 11 Boricua Reads
February 12 YAYOMG
February 13 Pragmaticmom
February 14 Latinos in Kidlit
February 14. 24hr.yabookblog
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