Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza
Author: Laekan Zea Kemp
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Mexican/Hispanic MC and characters
Recommended For…: middle grade readers, Mexican Mythology and Lore, fantasy, ghosts
Publication Date: September 27, 2022
Genre: MG Mythology Fantasy
Age Relevance: 12+ (death, missing pets, prayer, grief, animal harm)
Explanation of Above: Death is all around this book. It includes several ghosts and ghost pets. There are mentions of some of the ghost pets being murdered. There are missing animals that are mentioned. There is some grief shown in the book. There is some prayer shown in the book.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: Omega Morales’s family has been practicing magic for centuries in Noche Buena. But over the years, the town’s reputation for the supernatural is no longer one the people carry with pride. So Omega’s family keeps to themselves, and in private, they’re Empaths—diviners who can read and manipulate the emotions of people and objects around them. But Omega’s powers don’t quite work, and it leaves her feeling like an outsider in her own family.
When a witch with the power to transform herself into an owl—known in Mexican folklore as La Lechuza—shows up unannounced, Omega, her best friend Clau (who happens to be a ghost), and her cousin Carlitos must conduct a séance under a full moon in order to unravel the mystery of the legend.
Suddenly Omega’s magic begins to change, and the key to understanding her powers is more complicated than she thought. Omega will have to decide what’s more important—trusting the instincts of others or learning to trust in herself.
Review: I thought this was such a cute book! I loved the magic system and the mystery in this book. I loved that the book was very open about death, which can be a scary topic for a lot of kids and adults, and it incorporated it into the story. The book had fantastic illustrations in it and the story was beautifully told. The characters were well developed as was the world building.
The only issue I had with the book is that some of the pacing was a bit off in places.
Verdict: It was so good! Highly recommend!
About the Author:
Laekan Zea Kemp is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her debut novel, Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet was a 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Recipient. In addition to writing she’s also the creator and host of the Author Pep Talks podcast, as well as a contributor to the Las Musas podcast. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health.