November 5, 2019
IN THE DREAM HOUSE | Memoir
by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press)
In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming.
And it’s that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope―the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman―through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships.
Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.
THE BOOK OF LOST SAINTS | Fiction
by Daniel José Older (Imprint)
Marisol vanished during the Cuban Revolution, disappearing with hardly a trace. Now, shaped by atrocities long-forgotten, her tenacious spirit visits her nephew, Ramón, in modern-day New Jersey. Her hope: that her presence will prompt him to unearth their painful family history.
Ramón launches a haphazard investigation into the story of his ancestor, unaware of the forces driving him on his search. Along the way, he falls in love, faces a run-in with a murderous gangster, and uncovers the lives of the lost saints who helped Marisol during her imprisonment.
The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older is a haunting meditation on family, forgiveness, and the violent struggle to be free.
NOT A BEAN | Picture Book
by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez; Illus. by Laura González (Charlesbridge)
A Mexican jumping bean isn’t a bean at all. It’s a fascinating home and food source for a special kind of caterpillar!
With Spanish vocabulary and a clever counting concept, this poetic story shares the life cycle of a Mexican jumping bean. This curious jumping insect is actually a seedpod from a shrub called yerba de la flecha, into which a caterpillar burrows, living inside the pod until it builds a cocoon and breaks out as a moth. Perfect for preschoolers and prereaders, this creative picture book explores the Mexican jumping bean’s daily life and eventual transformation and escape from the pod.
MARIO AND THE HOLE IN THE SKY: HOW A CHEMIST SAVED OUR PLANET | Picture Book
by Elizabeth Rusch; Illus. by Teresa Martínez (Charlesbridge)
The true story of how a scientist saved the planet from environmental disaster.
Mexican American Mario Molina is a modern-day hero who helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s. Growing up in Mexico City, Mario was a curious boy who studied hidden worlds through a microscope. As a young man in California, he discovered that CFCs, used in millions of refrigerators and spray cans, were tearing a hole in the earth's protective ozone layer. Mario knew the world had to be warned--and quickly. Today Mario is a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming.
November 12, 2019
CHARLIE HERNÁNDEZ & THE CASTLE OF BONES | Middle Grade
by Ryan Calejo (Aladdin)
Charlie Hernandez still likes to think of himself as a normal kid. But what’s normal about being a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature? Well, not much. But, Charlie believes he can get used to this new “normal,” because being able to sprout wings or morph fins is pretty cool.
But there is a downside: it means having to constantly watch his back for La Mano Peluda’s sinister schemes. And when the leader of La Liga, the Witch Queen Jo herself, is suddenly kidnapped, Charlie’s sure they’re at it again.
Determined to save the queen and keep La Liga’s alliances intact, Charlie and his good friend Violet Rey embark on a perilous journey to track down her captors. As Charlie and Violet are drawn deeper into a world of monstruos and magia they are soon left with more questions than answers—like, why do they keep hearing rumors of dead men walking, and why is Charlie suddenly having visions of an ancient evil: a necromancer priest who’s been dead for more than five centuries?
Charlie’s abuela once told him that when dead men walk, the living run in fear. And Charlie’s about to learn the truth of that—the hard way.
QUEEN OF BONES | Mystery
by Teresa Dovalpage (SoHo Crime)
Juan, a Cuban construction worker who has settled in Albuquerque, returns to Havana for the first time since fleeing Cuba by raft twenty years ago. He is traveling with his American wife, Sharon, and hopes to reconnect with Victor, his best friend from college—and, unbeknownst to Sharon, he also hopes to discover what has become of two ex-girlfriends, Elsa and Rosita.
Juan is surprised to learn that Victor has become Victoria and runs a popular drag show at the local hot spot Café Arabia. Elsa has married a wealthy foreigner, and Rosita, still single, works at the Havana cemetery. When one of these women turns up dead, it will cost Padrino, a Santería priest and former detective on the Havana police force, more than he expects to untangle the group’s lies and hunt down the killer.
MANHUNTERS: HOW WE TOOK DOWN PABLO ESCOBAR | Politics
by Steve Murphy and Javier F. Peña (SoHo Crime)
Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s brutal Medellín Cartel was responsible for trafficking tons of cocaine to North America and Europe in the 1980s and ’90s. The nation became a warzone as his sicarios mercilessly murdered thousands of people―competitors, police, and civilians―to ensure he remained Colombia’s reigning kingpin. With billions in personal income, Pablo Escobar bought off politicians and lawmen, and became a hero to poorer communities by building houses and sports centers. He was nearly untouchable despite the efforts of the Colombian National Police to bring him to justice.
But Escobar was also one of America’s most wanted, and the Drug Enforcement Administration was determined to see him pay for his crimes. Agents Steve Murphy and Javier F. Peña were assigned to the Bloque de Búsqueda, the joint Colombian-U.S. taskforce created to end Escobar’s reign of terror. For eighteen months, between July 1992 and December 1993, Steve and Javier lived and worked beside Colombian authorities, finding themselves in the crosshairs of sicarios targeting them for the $300,000 bounty Escobar placed on each of their heads.
Undeterred, they risked the dangers, relentlessly and ruthlessly separating the drug lord from his resources and allies, and tearing apart his empire, leaving him underground and on the run from enemies on both sides of the law.
Manhunters presents Steve and Javier’s history in law enforcement from their rigorous physical training and their early DEA assignments in Miami and Austin to the Escobar mission in Medellin, Colombia―living far from home and serving as frontline soldiers in the never ending war on drugs that continues to devastate America.
November 30, 2019
JIMENA PÉREZ PUEDE VOLAR/JIMENA PÉREZ CAN FLY| Middle Grade
by Jorge Argueta (Pinata Books)
Ten-year-old Jimena Pérez loves life with her parents in El Salvador. They sell fruit at the market, just like her grandmother and great grandmother did. Fruits / are a blessing / like you, Jimena, her mother tells her.
But one day a group of boys threaten her friend Rosenda at school. You know / what will happen / to your family / if you don t join us. Jimena s parents, afraid gangs will try to recruit her too, decide she must go to the United States with her mother. She is excited and fearful, and doesn't want to leave her father, friends and dog Sultán. I felt sad / the way fruit looks / when it s past ripeness. By bus, train and on foot, mother and daughter make their way north, until one night, bright lights fill the sky and men in green uniforms rip Jimena from her mother.
Imprisoned with children from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, Jimena and the others cry for their parents. One boy repeats over and over, My father s name is Marcos / He is in Los Angeles. A box full of books brings her some solace, reminding her of the ones donated to kids at the market in El Salvador. The letters kiss me / like my mama s words / like my papa s words / I am a little bird / Nothing can stop me / I can fly.
In this poignant narrative poem for kids ages 10-15, award-winning Salvadoran poet Jorge Argueta movingly captures the fear that drives so many Central Americans to flee their countries and the anguish created by separating children from their parents at the US border. Putting a human face on the millions of people who flee their homelands each year, this book will help young people understand the difficulties of migration and leaving behind all that is dear.