cover image Carnival Chaos (Moko Magic #1)

Carnival Chaos (Moko Magic #1)

Tracey Baptiste. Freedom Fire, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-368-07437-7

Three cousins come together to save the Caribbean Day Parade from dark forces in this exuberant series opener from Baptiste (the Jumbies series). Twelve-year-old Misty recently moved in with extended family in Brooklyn. Though she wants to explore, she’s forced to stay indoors while her mother looks for work and the rest of the adults prepare for the upcoming carnival. Her desire for adventure is soon met when Misty and her cautious cousin Aiden find a creature made of feathers and sequins in the basement. Misty, Aiden, and their older cousin Brooke quickly learn that their family are descended from magical beings called mokos, and each generation’s power is split between three people. As the cousins discover their own abilities—Brooke creates force fields, Aiden heals injuries, and Misty sees visions—they realize that their rapidly increasing magic portends disaster, and with trouble around every corner, the carnival is in jeopardy. Lively alternating third-person perspectives center immigrant and Caribbean experiences with humor and heart, culminating in an engaging mystery that emphasizes the high spirits of the festival season and its importance to the tweens’ Afro-Caribbean heritage. Ages 8–12. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Aug.)