About the Book:
Title: CHARLIE HERNANDEZ AND THE LEAGUE OF SHADOWS (Charlie Hernández #1)
Author: Ryan Calejo
Pub. Date: October 23, 2018
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD
“It had definitely taken me a while, but I’d learned something from all this…
I’d realized that the things about yourself that make you feel awkward or different or drive you completely crazy are the same things that make you you. You can’t cry it away; you can’t even wish it away. But once you accept yourself – everything about yourself (especially the weird parts) – you’ll finally be free to be you. And that is a powerful thing. A very powerful thing.”
Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.
But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.
Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).
No pressure, muchacho.
Ryan Calejo was born and raised in south Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami with a BA. He’s been invited to join both the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key International Honour Society. He teaches swimming to elementary school students, chess to middle school students, and writing to high school students. Having been born into a family of immigrants and growing up in the so-called “Capital of Latin America,” Ryan knows the importance of diversity in our communities and is passionate about writing books that children of all ethnicities can relate to. His first novel was Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows.
Wow! And this was his debut novel? WOW! I was sucked in by the first two pages and hooked from then on. While some of the myths were a little confusing to me (I had never heard of any of them. Don’t judge. I’m white. Very white. Translucent even, but that’s beside the point…)
I loved the detail he put into the story! Everywhere you turned in the book you were meeting a brand new mythical character that was incredibly detailed in both physical description and character voice!
I was worried this was going to end up too much like Percy Jackson, but even though the excitement and adventure level was on par with those books, this was a whole new ball game. Maybe it’s because the myths were new to me, but it stands on it’s own two feet. Those who loved the Percy Jackson books will love Charlie Hernández!
(Just read it already!)
While I didn’t know the Latin and South American myths and legends, I have however grown up in multi-cultural communities, abundant with Latin American influences. I had two very close friends as a child whose family had moved from Mexico when they were babies, so to me, this book was like going back to my friend’s home and hearing them talk about their family in Mexico. I loved every detail.
I would recommend this to any 14 year old to read! It was fun and fast paced, with exciting action and adventure! Have fun reading it!
Age Group: 14+
Content Concerns: Fighting mythical creatures/beings, bullying, descriptions of previous violence
Language: 1/10 Very little and not til towards the end of the book. Some uses of “¡Mi madre!”, “¡Madre mía!” and “¡Madre!”, but I feel like these were in a more slang tone (at least I hope they were, if not, please correct me as I am not fluent in Spanish)
Lord’s name in vain (Spanish and English) p. 8, 26, 29, 73, 103, 178, 189, 272
Jack**s p. 265
D**n p. 281
Violence/Gore: 4/10 While some parts were not all that descriptive, there were a few moments that were intense
p. 1 Talk of kidnapping kids
p. 3-4 Character is traumatized by recent events.
p. 9 Character is in pain
p. 20-24 Bullying
p. 45-49 A little spooky
p. 118 Description of violence that is a little graphic
p. 130-138 A character tries to kidnap children
p. 143-153 Fighting off a mythical character
p.183-189 Fighting/fleeing a mythical character
p. 213 Brief description of violence
p.215-223 Main characters being chased by a mythical character
p. 227-228 A character’s head is forced into a pool of water (turns out alright)
p.240-241 A character is literally shot in order to return to the real world. Not descriptive, just surprising.
p.246-249 Bullying and some violent actions
p. 252-257 Fight with a mythical character
p. 276 Character is poisoned
p. 280-306 Main battle with villain, not descriptive or too violent. Two characters are killed but no blood.
Sexual Content: 0/10 None. One character talks about having broken up with their lover, but that’s it.
Check out the Giveaway and the rest of the Blog Tour!
1 winner will win a signed hardcover of CHARLIE HERNANDEZ AND THE LEAGUE OF SHADOWS, US ONLY
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