Reviews for Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows

by Ryan Calejo

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

He's not the "chosen one"but the bad guys think he is.Mexican-born, American-raised Charlie Hernndez just grew horns. And feathers. It's inconvenient. He's already feeling alone since his parents disappeared after their South Florida house burned down and he started living with Mrs. Wilson, an older woman who collects creepy-looking dolls. When the very cute, very cool Violet Rey discovers his secret, she becomes his unlikely companion as Charlie discovers a map inside an old locket, all he has left from his mother, that leads to a cemetery. All of a sudden, all the Hispanic (both Latin American and Iberian) myths he learned from his abuela leave the world of legend and reveal themselves in Miamiand everyone, good and bad, seems to be after Charlie. Legend and Catholicism mix to form a fantasy adventure that feels authentically Latin American in its syncretism. Charlie is smart, sensitive, and funny, and the characters he encounters, from La Llorona (Mexican-American) to El Sombrern (Guatemalan) to La Cuca (Brazilian), are both consistent with their folkloric roots and distinctive in their own rights. Words in Spanish are introduced in italics and printed in Roman text thereafter, and Charlie naturally code switches when talking to the villains and heroes and translating for Violet. (Though her surname indicates possible Latinx heritage, she presents white and speaks no Spanish.) The ending very obviously hints at a sequel with a new adventure, but it does fully wrap up the story.A winner for all kids, but it will be especially beloved by Latinx and Hispanic families who may recognize some of the characters. (glossary) (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Charlie Hernández loves his abuela's stories, drawn from Latino and Hispanic folklore, in particular legends about supernatural creatures ­some good, many evil. When Charlie's parents go missing, his house burns down, and he starts growing horns and sprouting feathers, Charlie, aided by intelligent classmate Violet Rey, begins to discover that the tales his grandmother passed down to him may not have been fiction after all, and may be more entwined with his destiny than he could have ever imagined. As Violet and Charlie get closer to the secret his family was shielding, they come across brujas, La Llorona, El Sombrerón, Justo Juez, and more, all while Charlie must try to hide his physical transformations from his best friends. Soon Charlie discovers that his life is deeply linked with the balance of peace between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. In chapters filled with fast-paced action, Calejo's novel is sure to draw in readers and introduce them to the magic, beauty, and history of Hispanic myths and legends (many of which are elaborated on further in a glossary for those unfamiliar with the stories). This is a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan's many series, particularly for those eager for mythologies beyond Greek and Roman stories. A cliff-hanger ending only adds to the appeal.--Selenia Paz Copyright 2018 Booklist

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In this fast-paced new adventure series full of fantastical creatures from Hispanic mythology, Charlie has listened to his abuela's scary tales for years. But suddenly, around the time of a mysterious fire, they seem to come to life. Charlie--now growing horns and feathers--and his crush, Violet, set off on a global chase to find his missing parents. At times frightening but consistently entertaining. Glos. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.