November 2, 2015


It's Halloween Week and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

The Latina Book Club is proud to bring you
books that will scare you and make your heart race.  
So Be Brave and Happy Reading.

Arte Publico Press
I love graffiti art, especially large, colorful murals that depict fun communal scenes.  I found a lot of these in Harlem, and so many more during my recent trip to San Juan. 

SOFI AND THE MAGIC, MUSICAL brings these murals to mind and to life.  The book is full of vibrant pictures and enchanting narrative, and I love that it is bilingual.  Readers will be delighted and amazed.  I am, and I am thinking of buying extra hard copies for my nieces and nephews in New York and on the island.

SUMMARY:  When Sofi walks through her barrio to the local store, she always passes a huge mural with images from Puerto Rico: musicians, dancers, tropical flowers and her least favorite avejigante, a character from carnival that wears a scary mask. 

One day on her way home from the bodega, she stops in front of the mural. Is one of the dancers inviting her to be his partner? "Okay, let’s dance," Sofi giggles, and suddenly she’s in Old San Juan, surrounded by dancers and musicians playing bongos, tambourines andgüiros. She begins to dance and sing with her new friends, but her pleasure turns to fear when the vejigante wearing a black jumper with yellow fringe and a red, three-horned mask spins her around and around! What does he want from her? How can she get away? 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  SOFI AND THE MAGIC, MUSICAL MURAL / SOFI Y EL MAGICO MURAL MUSICAL is Dr. Raquel Ortiz’s debut novel.  It was illustrated by Maria Dominguez.

November 1, 2015


It's Halloween Week and Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos).

The Latina Book Club is proud to bring you
books that will scare you and make your heart race.  
So Be Brave and Happy Reading.

Harry N. Abrams Publishing
This children’s book is playful, artistic and fascinating.  I never knew the history of the calaveras and why they are identified so much with Mexico.  This book was fun and arresting. Readers of all ages will love it.

SUMMARY:  FUNNY BONES tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various every day or festive activities—came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913). In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians. He continued to draw cartoons throughout much of his life, but he is best known today for his calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. Juxtaposing his own art with that of Lupe’s, author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man whose art is beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he now lives. He travels extensively in the U.S., visiting schools, libraries, and bookstores.

October 31, 2015


It's Halloween Week and the Latina Book Club is proud to bring you
books that will scare you and make your heart race.  
So Be Brave and Happy Reading.

Arthur A. Levine Books
Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.

This book is fun, engaging, suspenseful and mesmerizing.  I love the idea of murals coming to life and weeping real tears.  You start thinking holy thoughts, but these stirring creatures are out for blood…yours.  Advice…run.  Readers run to stores or grab your phone and order.  You’ll enjoy it even as it scares you.

SUMMARY:  Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one -- and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Daniel José Older is the author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin's Roc Books and the Young Adult novel SHADOWSHAPER (Scholastic's Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015), which was nominated for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers' Literature. His first collection of short stories, Salsa Nocturna and the Locus and World Fantasy nominated anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, which he co-edited, are available from Crossed Genres Publications. You can find Daniel's thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at and @djolder on twitter and YouTube.

October 30, 2015


It's Halloween Week and the Latina Book Club is proud to bring you
books that will scare you and make your heart race.  
So Be Brave and Happy Reading.

Amazon Crossing
Translated by Andres Alfaro
Manel Loureiro is being hailed as the Spanish Stephen King, and his novels have enough horror and gore to give credit to this claim.  Best known for his Apocalypse Z series, Manel's new book is about Nazi’s, ghost ships and romance.  A nightmarish combination, but then, out at sea, anything is possible.
SUMMARY:  Reporter Kate Kilroy accepts an assignment to travel on the Valkyrie, a German ship veiled in secrecy for decades after it was discovered adrift in 1939 with only one passenger aboard, a baby boy named Isaac Feldman.
Obsessed with understanding his origins, Feldman has spent a small fortune restoring the Valkyrie to try to solve the mystery. Assembling a team of experts and sparing no expense, he aims to precisely recreate the circumstances of the Valkyrie’s doomed final voyage. Little does Feldman or his team know that the ship has an agenda of its own. As the Valkyrie begins to weave its deadly web, Kate realizes that she must not only save herself, but the world as she knows it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  International bestselling author Manel Loureiro was born in Pontevedra, Spain, and studied law at Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. After graduating, he worked in television, both on-screen (appearing on Televisión de Galicia) and behind-the-scenes as a writer. His Apocalypse Z trilogy—The Beginning of the End, Dark Days, and The Wrath of the Just—took him from the blogosphere to bestsellerdom, earning him acclaim as “the Spanish Stephen King” by La Voz de Galicia. Loureiro continues to reside in his native Pontevedra.

October 29, 2015


It's Halloween Week and the Latina Book Club is proud to bring you books that will scare you and make your heart race.  
So Be Brave and Happy Reading.

Caballo Press of Ann Arbor
Alright, this book is just a little scary.  PERLA GARCIA AND THE MYSTERY OF LA LLORONA, "THE WEEPING WOMAN," is a new bilingual book series for young readers.  It is available in English and Spanish.

It's the first in a series of mysteries with a young girl "detective" and her trusty German Shepherd.  The best part is that it has a glossary of the Spanish words used in the book; plus, it encourages kids to investigate mysteries of their own and share on an entertaining and interactive website.  This book won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Children's Bilingual Book (Summer 2015).

SUMMARY:  Perla Garcia is a fourth grader who loves to write and solve mysteries.  When her friends claim to see La Llorona - The Weeping Woman - wandering the stream in el Barrio de la Guadalupe and chasing them, Perla sets off to investigate with Valiente, her dog, by her side.  (Valiente means brave in Spanish; and he is!)  Together they look for clues.  Perla is skeptical at first, but then she too sees La Llorona; she too hears the cries of ghost children.  Now, she is more determined than ever to get to the bottom of this mystery.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Dr. Rudolph “Rodolfo” Alvarado, the author of The Perla Garcia Mysteries, grew up with three  sisters in Lubbock, Texas. The first story in the Perla Garcia Mysteries is dedicated to them. He holds a Fine Arts Ph.D. and an MFA in Playwriting from Texas Tech University, as well as an MA in History from Eastern Michigan University, where he was a University Fellow and a Parks/King/Chavez Fellow. His work has been published by the University of Michigan Press, Arte Público Press, Michigan State University Press, Texas A&M University Press, and Alpha Books of New York. His biography, The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez: The Voice of Santa Anita, won the prestigious Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award.

The Perla Garcia Mysteries are illustrated by Peter Nowakowski, and translated into English by Nereida Nazzaro.

For more information on the series and its creators, visit