I really enjoyed Anna Meriano’s first book in the Love Sugar Magic series, A Dash of Trouble, so I jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour for the second book, which just came out February 5. Keep reading for a giveaway for this book!
A Sprinkle of Spirits: Love Sugar Magic Book 2 by Anna Meriano. Walden Pond Press, 2019.
Leonora “Leo” Logroño was thrilled when her mother agreed to teach her bruja skills at the end of the last book. Now, though, some of the shine is starting to wear off. Her family wants her to learn things so slowly, it feels like she doesn’t get to do any real magic. She hasn’t figured out what her special knack is – especially since those gifts usually go in strict birth order, one to three, and she’s child number four.
When her best friend Caroline comes back from a visit to her mother’s family in Costa Rica, she and Leo want to talk, but Leo’s sisters are convinced that between the secret magic and the rush in the bakery for Día de los Reyes, Caroline should stay away. Should Leo make up with her friend? Or does she need to put her family first? Meanwhile, Tía Paloma decides the girls are all ready to learn candle magic, in addition to the baking magic that comes naturally to their family.
All of this would be plenty for Leo to deal with. Then she wakes up in the middle of the night to find that her grandmother is standing next to her bed – in the flesh, not as a ghost, though shedding marigold petals. Is this Leo’s talent? But how could she have pulled her grandmother over from el otro lado without even knowing it? When even more spirits turn up – including the grandmother of one of Leo’s friend, a former mayor, and the old school piano teacher – the adventure levels also go up. All of them have missions they want to accomplish while they’re back in the land of the living, and staying hidden isn’t on the agenda for most of them. Leo and her family won’t be enough to handle the ensuing mayhem.
There are still plenty of delicious baked goods here, with the addition of the candles. Even though the running around after the spirits takes center stage here, there’s still time to think about the difficulty of balancing family and friends – we get to know several of Leo’s friends better, as well as learning about the challenges Leo’s older sisters have had balancing their bruja world with outside friendships. And with the spirits crossing over, there are also meditations on appropriate boundaries between the living and the dead and the importance of moving on for both sides. I appreciated the diversity within Leo’s friend group as well, including multiple Latinx cultures and a Vietnamese-American friend, among others. This continues to be a very enjoyable series, with sweetness and depth, like a favorite family recipe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Meriano is the author of the “Love Sugar Magic” series, which has received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness. A Houston native, she graduated from Rice University with a degree in English and earned her MFA in writing for children from the New School. Anna works as a tutor and part time teacher with Writers in the Schools, a Houston nonprofit that brings creative writing instruction into public schools. In her free time, she likes to knit, study American Sign Language, and play full-contact quidditch.
Enter for a chance to win a copy of A Sprinkle of Spirits, courtesy of Walden Pond Press. Just leave a comment on this post with something you’re excited for about this book and a way to contact you (email address, Twitter handle, etc.) by midnight on Monday, February 18. I’ll notify the randomly chosen winner on February 19.
Check out the other stops on the blog tour!
- February 5 Nerdy Book Club
- February 7 Las Musas Reads
- February 9 Charlotte’s Library
- February 10 A Library Mama
- February 11 Boricua Reads
- February 12 YAYOMG
- February 13 Pragmaticmom
- February 14 Latinos in Kidlit
- February 14 24hr.yabookblog