Latinx Heritage Month coincides with the spooky Halloween season. For readers who like to knock out two birds with one stone, here are some creepy young adult novels that celebrate Latinx horror and mystery.
Halloween is still a few weeks ahead, so, if you want to start getting in the mood, here are some books that will do the job:
Brooklyn Brujas Series by Zoraida Córdova
Each book follows the story of one of the Mortiz sisters. In the first book, Labyrinth Lost, Alex struggles with her brujeria heritage. In an attempt to get rid of her powers that scare her, she accidentally sends her family to the realm of Los Lagos, which is like the Underworld. In Bruja Born, the eldest sister, Lula, is not coping well with her trauma from her time in Los Lagos. When her school bus crashes and she sees her ex-boyfriend about to be taken by death, she casts a spell to save him, and inadvertently raises the dead all around, resulting in casimuertos roaming Brooklyn. The third book, slated for a 2020 release, will follow the youngest Mortiz sister, Rose.
Shadowshaper Series by Daniel José Older
Older’s books follow Sierra Santiago as she navigates the Caribbean magic passed from her grandfather that has been put to nefarious uses by his old partner, Dr. Jonathan Wick. Taking place in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, this world is rich and rife with Afro-Latinx culture and roots. The series is a trilogy with two novellas that take place between the stories of the full-length novels.
Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda
Alameda combines science fiction and horror a la John Carpenter’s The Thing. Laura Cruz, a shipraider, happens upon a historical mystery that leads to a fight for survival from legendary monsters. Together with Tuck Morgan, a survivor of the USS John Muir, she outwits the enemy and works to save the human race.
Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Lupe Dávila travels from Vermont to Puerto Rico to visit family and stumbles upon grotesque murders that many believe to be the work of a murderer, but others suspect a monster instead. Taking place across five horrific nights, this story follows the stories of five friends fighting against the legendary monster known as El Cuco. With a spooky and rich Puerto Rican folklore background, Five Midnights is sure to delight Latinx readers and introduce others to the culture.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
This story follows the escapades of Mila Flores as she tries to uncover how her best friend Riley ended up dead with Fairmont Academy mean girls June Phelan-Park and Dayton Nesseth. Anderson combines the follies of growing up with a murder mystery, witchcraft, and zombies. Though it covers the pain of grief and the darkness of murder and death, Mila still manages to keep a humorous voice that will win readers over.
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