May/June 2022 Kids Indie Next List
“I adore Ortega and her writing. This is the perfect middle grade read for those who want quirky characters (toads with mustaches), a haunting setting, and an impossible task that will make you keep reading to find out what happens next!”
— Sierra Dertinger, Main Street Books (MO), St. Charles, MO
Disney's The Owl House meets Nevermoor, in a brilliant new adventure from New York Times bestselling author Claribel A. Ortega!
Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches.
And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can't wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn't placed in one of the five covens. She's a Spare!
Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn't work! They're stuck as Witchlings—and will never be able to perform powerful magic.
Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they'll gain their full powers. If they fail... Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.
But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all…
With action-packed adventure, a coven of quirky witchlings, Claribel A. Ortega's signature humor, and girl-power vibes, you won't be able to put down this middle-grade Latine witch story, perfect for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers or Harry Potter.
About the Author
Claribel A. Ortega, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Squad and Witchlings, is a former reporter who writes middle grade and young adult fantasy inspired by her Dominican heritage. When she's not busy turning her obsession with eighties pop culture, magic, and video games into books, she's cohosting her podcasts Write or Die and Bad Author Book Club and helping authors navigate publishing with her consulting business, GIFGRRL. Claribel has been featured on BuzzFeed, NPR, Good Morning America, and Deadline.
You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok at @Claribel_Ortega and on her website at claribelortega.com.
Praise for Witchlings:
"Magic, friendship, and downright funny—Witchlings has all the ingredients for an enchanting read." —Kwame Mbalia, New York Times bestselling author of the Tristan Strong series
"Inventive. Magical. Enchanting. An absolutely charming tale with its heart rooted in the friendships we make and keep." —J.C. Cervantes, bestselling author of The Storm Runner series
Praise for Claribel A. Ortega's Ghost Squad:
One of NPR's Best Books of 2020
A Good Morning America Summer Reading Squad pick
"Ghost Squad is a charming adventure full of girl power and heart." —Zoraida Córdova, author of The Way to Rio Luna and the Brooklyn Brujas series
"Ghost Squad manages to be both creepy and heartwarming, fulfilling a need for stories that are both deeply relatable and culturally specific. Highly recommended for kids looking for a spooky read, a whole lot of feelings, and a story they'll not soon forget." —Mark Oshiro, author of Anger is a Gift and The Insiders
* "A peppering of pop culture references add humor, but it’s the personal touches, such as Lucely's opinionated, ever-present ancestors; her dedication to those she loves; and an emphasis on Latinx food, love, and folklore, that gives this debut its distinctive spirit." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Dark humor, mystical vibes, and pop-culture references abound in this action-packed ghost hunt featuring... enchanted books, cryptic catacombs, and a coven of cats who are more than they appear. A feel-good, phantasmagorical adventure that readers won't want to miss." —Booklist
"While it's undeniably a ghost story, Lucely's love for her family, both corporeal and spirit, carries the narrative, giving it warmth and depth. A warmly spooky middle-grade debut." —Kirkus Reviews
"A fast-paced adventure rooted in Dominican mythology and packed with action, humor, and originality. Lucely and Syd's adventure gives readers paranormal thrills akin to Ghostbusters and The Goonies, from a refreshingly different cultural perspective." —School Library Journal
"A high energy yarn, interwoven with Dominican culture and mythology, that is pleasantly spooky with a Ghostbusters vibe that rarely falters. Readers will appreciate this lively entrée to supernatural literature." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Ortega takes Hispanic folk traditions and weaves them into an artful narrative set in modern times. A recommended read for those who like ghostly adventures." —School Library Connection
"It’s the Ghostbusters meets Jane the Virgin mashup we didn't know we needed." —Book Riot