Kaela Rivera: Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls (HarperCollins Publishers 2021)
Tehlor Kay Meija: Paola Santiago and the River of Tears (Rick Riordan Presents in Disney Book Publishing 2020)
The first OwlCrate was made in February 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. The first box of the children’s version was available from December 2016. Each box contains a new release in a signed hardcover edition with an author’s letter, an activity or a second book in paperback, various bookish goodies on the theme of the month, a sticker, and a magazine that always has an interview with the author.
The theme of the month of April is Legendary Courage and we can read two middle grade novels that are based on the Mesoamerican myths and culture.
Cece Rios’ older sister, Juana is kidnapped by an evil spirit, El Sombreron, so it is Cece’s job to go to the Devil’s Valley with the help of another legendary creature, Coyote, and bring her sister back. Kaela Rivera grew up near the forests of the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and has always believed in the folk tales she heard from her Mexican-American and British parents. She hopes that by sharing our cultural differences, people can get closer to each other.
Tehlor Kay Meija, who lives in Oregon, had already written a successful adult fantasy series before publishing her first middle grade novel. In the story of Paola Santiago, the legend of La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders along the banks of the river Gila at night in search of young people to drag into the murky depths of the river, comes to life. Our protagonist, 12-year-old Pao, never took his mother’s warning seriously and wants to test out her new telescope on the riverfront at night. However, when one of her girlfriends mysteriously disappears, she decides to find her despite the fearsome legend.
Both books seem very exciting and I can’t wait to read them.