CHARLIE HERNANDEZ & THE CASTLE OF BONES

Ryan Calejo

Middle Grade, Aladdin , 2019

Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America, this bold sequel to Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, follows Charlie as he continues on his quest to embrace his morphling identity.

Charlie Hernandez still likes to think of himself as a normal kid. But what’s normal about being a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature? Well, not much. But, Charlie believes he can get used to this new “normal,” because being able to sprout wings or morph fins is pretty cool.

But there is a downside: it means having to constantly watch his back for La Mano Peluda’s sinister schemes. And when the leader of La Liga, the Witch Queen Jo herself, is suddenly kidnapped, Charlie’s sure they’re at it again.

Determined to save the queen and keep La Liga’s alliances intact, Charlie and his good friend Violet Rey embark on a perilous journey to track down her captors. As Charlie and Violet are drawn deeper into a world of monstruos and magia they are soon left with more questions than answers—like, why do they keep hearing rumors of dead men walking, and why is Charlie suddenly having visions of an ancient evil: a necromancer priest who’s been dead for more than five centuries?

Charlie’s abuela once told him that when dead men walk, the living run in fear. And Charlie’s about to learn the truth of that—the hard way.

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Reviews: 

"Well worth it for ravenous fans of quest stories." -- Kirkus Reviews

After saving his parents from the legendary bruja La Cuca, Charlie is just settling into his new life with the League of Shadows when Queen Joanna, their leader, is kidnapped. He and his friend Violet embark on a quest to rescue Joanna, and their pursuit takes them through Brazil, Argentina, and Chile up to El Salvador and Mexico. As they piece together clues involving mysterious castles of bones and a centuries-old necromancer, Charlie and Violet encounter various creatures from Hispanic myths, including a lobisomem (Brazilian werewolf), an alicanto bird, and okpe ogres, some of whom help, while others try to stop the children at all costs. But when they reach their final destination and uncover an ancient secret, Charlie learns that those he thought were friends may in fact be enemies. Through brief, fast-paced chapters, this ongoing adventure introduces more vibrant culture and legends, all while developing Charlie, Violet, and the other members of La Liga. Middle-grade readers will enjoy this second installment of the Charlie Hernández series with its adventure, memorable characters, and heartbreak. -- Booklist

"A highly recommended adventure series..." -- School Library Journal

 

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