STARRED REVIEW
January 2018

Baking with brujas

By Anna Meriano
Review by

Eleven-year-old Leonora (Leo) comes from a long line of talented bakers in Rose Hill, Texas. This Día de los Muertos, however, Leo starts to suspect that a talent for baking isn’t the only thing that runs in the family—and she soon discovers that her mom, her Tía Paloma and her four older sisters are all brujas, witches of Mexican ancestry whose recipes double as magic spells.

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Eleven-year-old Leonora (Leo) comes from a long line of talented bakers in Rose Hill, Texas. This Día de los Muertos, however, Leo starts to suspect that a talent for baking isn’t the only thing that runs in the family—and she soon discovers that her mom, her Tía Paloma and her four older sisters are all brujas, witches of Mexican ancestry whose recipes double as magic spells.

Leo has always felt a little separated from her Mexican heritage—she can’t even understand much Spanish—but she’s eager to discover whether she, too, is a bruja. Her sister Isabel assures Leo that she’ll acquire her own special power once she turns 15, but there’s no reason why Leo can’t start practicing some spells now, right? When Leo finds a spell to help her grieving best friend, it seems easy enough—but soon Leo’s magical baking project is wreaking havoc both at school and at home.

Chock full of humor, magic, friendship and sisterhood, Anna Meriano’s debut launches a new series that celebrates Mexican-American culture and traditions. Spanish-speaking readers will appreciate Leo’s renewed desire to learn Spanish, and readers of all backgrounds will be eager to try out their own baking (or magic?) skills with the recipes included at the end of Leo’s story.

 

This article was originally published in the January 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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