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This is not a great choice for this only English-speaking librarian to choose to read on her Google Classroom! I completely butchered all the Spanish phrases and mythological creatures that are sprinkled liberally throughout this book. BUT, the action level is high and my kiddos are following along, anxious to see what evil beast is going to try to kill Charlie and his companion Violet as they try to find his missing parents and save both this world and one beyond ours from a group of powerful and evil creatures from the Land of the Dead. Mythology is a popular topic among my middle grade library patrons and now that they feel like they know all there is to know about the Greek and Roman characters, they are ready to move on to Egyptian, Norse, Hispanic, and a variety of other cultures. "Charlie Hernandez" is filled to the brim with more amazing villains and heroes than I could imagine and I spent much time doing some outside research and hope my students do, as well. The plot is complicated enough to keep the most advanced reader intrigued and full of enough adventure that some of the less capable are going to stick around until the conclusion. Except that the conclusion sends you right into book 2-Charlie Hernandez and the Castle of Bones! Solid read, but I am hoping that author Ryan Calego finds more expressions to use instead of "dude" and "freaking." After several students even commented on the frequency of those two, I started skipping them as I did my read alouds. No profanity, no sex, and the violence is what you would expect of an wicked witch trying to kill the hero who is destined to save the good guys.
Exactly what I was looking for! Buen trabajo Ryan!
I was inspired by my wife's Guatemalan folklore to write a Latinx fantasy, thinking the world of literature needed something fresh and unique. So how crazy to finally stumble upon Charlie Hernandez and Ryan Calejo's work (Big Data probably caught up to me and my search tendencies). But enough about that, and more about the League of Shadows...
From the cover to the back-of-book-blurb, this hooked me right away, and turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for. Ryan is for Latin American Mythology like Rick Riordan is for the better known Roman, Greek and Egyptian tales. He brings each to life, and even has some fun with them. The story flows well, makes you feel for the characters, and nails the middle school vibe (but not overly so). I do not want to spoil the story by saying too much, so will stop here. However, seeing he just published a second one, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to where he goes next, now that all the backstory is done.
My 10 year old loved this book. He is eagerly awaiting a sequel. It does have some scary content so it might normally be best for kids a little older. He is in 4th grade and reads at a 7th or 8th grade level. He is soaking up all the fantasy type stuff he can get his hands on right now, and this book was a great addition.
I've been reading this book to my 8- almost 9-year-old son. He loves it! Both of us usually end up reading several chapters because we can't put it down. It is written for middle school, but my 3rd grader and I are enjoying the book We bought the second book in the series "Charlie Hernandez and the Castle of Bones" before we finished this book because we want to find out what happens in Charlie's next adventure.
I love the book and reading it with my child. She’s excited that the magical/horror creatures mom has scared her with all these years are in the book. We’re excited for every new chapter and new mythological being well get a chance to read about and how it’s involved in Charlie’s life. GREAT STORY TELLING!
This is a perfect book for the entire family, it gives you a window into a world of folklore, mythology and heritage, and opens the door into a whole new perspective and multi-cultural appreciation. It crosses generations, and best of all cultivates new seeds of curiosity for both young and even older (wiser) family members. When Charlie's world suddenly becomes a new reality, it's nonstop adventure. Charlie and Violeta will have you holding your breath in every turn, and keep you flipping the page on over drive. Calejo and his mighty pen are quite the duo, light like a feather, but can sting like a bee. I highly recommend it.
This book feels like a Hispanic version of Harry Potter. The same detail, research, and passion can be found in Charlie’s world. Everything, down to the glossary in the back of the book, immerses you in a rich culture that helps the story feel like it could be your own. Having grown up in the same hometown as Charlie, it was so fun and exciting to have a character that I could identify with culturally. Charlie and I even went to the same school! This book and story is definitely one that everyone can enjoy, no matter what background they may come from, or what age they are. Everyone in my family has a copy and loves it - from my own Abuela to my kids. It’s an escape into a whole new world that I never wanted to end and I already can’t wait to read it again. Part 2 please? (...and then 3, 4, 5...)