Freddie vs. the Family Curse by Tracy Badua

Here’s a book for fans of over-the-top humor, with a healthy dose of personal growth and Filipino-American culture.

Cover of Freddie vs. the Family Curse by Tracy Badua

Freddie vs. the Family Curse by Tracy Badua

Clarion, 2022

ISBN 978-0358612896

Read from a library copy. 

Freddie Ruiz is under a curse.  He’s not sure exactly where it came from, his parents are determined to deny it – but what else could explain all the spectacularly bad luck everyone in his family has?  From running out of glue the night before a big school project is due to tripping over nothing, Freddie has experienced it all.  It’s so bad that his classmates call him Faceplant Freddie and he refuses to do any sport-like activities or try anything new.  

Then, while rummaging through the garage looking for supplies to finish a last-minute school project, he finds a gold coin hanging from a cracked leather cord.  Apong, his grandmother, tells him it’s an anting-anting – what’s supposed to be a Filipino good luck amulet.  This anting-anting, however, turns out to be imprisoning his great uncle Ramon, who died as a teen in World War II, and is the source of the family’s bad luck.  And now that Freddie has it in his possession, a countdown has started – find a way to break the curse or be trapped himself.  

Luckily, he’s got his cousin Sharkey to help him, as well as dubious advice from his Uncle Ramon.  It will take a lot of research into the full history of the anting-anting to figure out how to break it, and as Freddie dives into the task, he learns more about what his family members have done in spite of the curse and the effects of his own reaction to it, as well as the war and post-war experiences in the Philippines.  That’s an impressive amount of personal growth and history tidily woven into a fast-moving, laugh-out-loud funny story.

This book will appeal to readers of other hilarious contemporary fantasy and sci-fi books like It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit by Justin A. Reynolds, The Last Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles, and Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez.

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
This entry was posted in Books, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Print and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Freddie vs. the Family Curse by Tracy Badua

  1. Not really my kind of story, but sounds like it has lots to appeal to middle graders!

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