cover image The Way to Rio Luna

The Way to Rio Luna

Zoraida Córdova. Scholastic, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-338-23954-6

Two years prior to the start of Córdova’s (Incendiary) middle grade debut, 11-year-old Danny and older sister Pili cycle through group and foster homes until being separated. Before Pili disappears entirely—a runaway, Danny’s told—she leaves him with her favorite book, fairy tale volume The Way to Rio Luna. He carries it everywhere, thoroughly annoying his cruel foster siblings and impatient foster parents on Staten Island until the book is taken away. A school trip to the New York Public Library (“the big one with the lions out front”) introduces Danny to Glory Papillon, a girl about his age, and reaffirms his belief in magic—especially when he encounters the original copy of Rio Luna. With Glory’s help, Danny sets out to find his sister, perhaps in Rio Luna. In this fantasy with a classic feel, characters of various skin tones and circumstances prove relatable, catching readers up in their triumphs and tribulations. Ages 8–up. [em]Agent: Adrienne Rosado, Stonesong. (June) [/em]