cover image The Spirit Glass

The Spirit Glass

Roshani Chokshi. Disney/Riordan, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-3680-9339-2

Featuring a Filipina protagonist coming into her powers, Chokshi (the Aru Shah series) writes a memorable spin on a tween’s looking-glass adventures. Three years after her parents’ deaths, 11-year-old Corazon Lopez lives with her magically powerful but emotionally distant aunt Tina in a wondrous House “that tucked her in each evening and made sure she always had a sweater when it got cold.” Like the women in their family, both Corazon and Tina are babaylans—mortals who guard the boundaries between the human and spirit worlds—but two days before her magic-manifesting 12th birthday, Corazon’s specific power remains unknown even to her. She waits impatiently on the cusp with her wisecracking companion anito, an earth spirit named Saso who resembles a blue lizard, and a soul key that allows her to visit with her parents’ ghosts each Saturday. She plans to bring them back to life once she gains, and trains in, her powers, but when Corazon and Tina travel through the Library of Mirrors en route to the spirit realms’ marketplace, a figure pursues Corazon and steals the soul key, and Corazon must work to put the worlds-threatening specter to rest. Filipino folklore and a smart magic system of “bargains and balances” thread this wholly original narrative, which employs laugh-out-loud humor, sensory-forward prose, and deliciously dark threats to explore personal identity and tweenhood. Ages 8–12. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Sept.)