Author: Ortega, Claribel A.
Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 506732
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/20)
School Library Journal (00/04/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2020 Death puns, dark humor, mystical vibes, and pop-culture references to the 1980s and 1990s abound in this action-packed ghost hunt featuring two preteen friends trying to save their hometown, the very haunted St. Augustine, from a horde of vengeful spirits. Lucely Luna is quite familiar with ghosts—she still lives with a whole family of friendly, supportive, deceased Lunas, who fluctuate between spirit form and firefly form. But when the willow tree they reside in is threatened, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, must identify the culprit to save the Lunas’ struggling Ghost Tour business—and the entire town. Along the way, Lucely and Syd learn about the bonds between friends and family as they encounter enchanted books, cryptic catacombs, and a coven of cats who are more than they appear. Shoutouts to Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, Hocus Pocus, The Goonies, and the like crop up continually as debut author Ortega expertly weaves a feel-good, phantasmagorical adventure that readers won’t want to miss. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 Gr 4 Up–Looking for a Halloween read? Look no further. Something strange is happening to Lucely's ghost family of fireflies, known as cocuyos—they are fading away. They tell her that something evil is coming. In an attempt to revive her Mama Teresa, Lucely and her best friend Syd perform a spell to raise the dead, but accidentally awaken old evil spirits that want to revenge against their town. Lucely, Syd, and Syd's grandmother Babette (who is a witch) must undo the curse and save her ghost family. This is a fast-paced adventure rooted in Dominican mythology and packed with action and humor. Readers are pulled into the family's close bond and supernatural world easily, with tender moments like abuela singing Lucely to sleep during a storm and the collective urgency as Lucely feels Mama's spirit quieting. VERDICT Ortega's debut is filled with action, humor, and originality. Lucely and Syd's adventure gives readers paranormal thrills akin to Ghostbusters and the Goonies, from a refreshingly different cultural perspective.—Ruth Guerrier-Pierre, New York Public Library - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.