cover image The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez

The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez

Adrianna Cuevas. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-374-31360-9

When Army brat Nestor Lopez moves to the small town of New Haven, Tex., to live with his abuela while his father is deployed to Afghanistan, he doesn’t expect to be there for long. After all, he’s only in sixth grade and is already on his 10th first day of school. His plan is to avoid making friends and attachments, and certainly not to let anyone know that he can speak with animals. Despite this, he soon winds up joining the school trivia club with new friends Maria and Talib. And his gift rapidly sucks him into a mystery involving missing animals and the threat of a terrifying shape-shifting tule vieja—a witch. With this heartwarming debut, Cuevas draws upon Central American legends and her Cuban heritage to flesh out Nestor’s experiences (his feelings of frustration and impermanence are particularly well-rendered), crafting a tense, satisfying tale of magic, family, and finding one’s true home. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (July) [/em]