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Month in review

Reviews
An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley Alienated by Melissa Landers
American Panda by Gloria Chao
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
Book Clubbed by Lorna Barrett
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gayle Rosengren
A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O'Leary
Giant Days, Volume 6 by John Allison
Internet Famous by Danika Stone
The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford
Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
Monsters Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
Out of Tune by Gail Nall
Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
The Problim Children by Natalie Lloyd
A Side of Sabotage by C.M. Surrisi
Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition, Book One by Jeff Lemire
Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination by Mitsumasa Anno
The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Miscellaneous
February 2018 Sources
February 2018 Summary
It's Monday, what are you reading (March 05) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 12) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 19) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 26)

Road Essays
Introduction to the road narrative project
Metaphoric language of marginalized travelers
Place Character Shibboleth: Towards an understanding of bypass stories
Rethinking Urban Fantasy: Where is Nagspeake?
Road trip to the underworld: the Nome King and Hades

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


A Dash of Trouble: 03/03/18

A Dash of Trouble

A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano is the first book in the middle grade fantasy series, Love, Sugar, Magic. Lenora "Leo" Logroño is the youngest child. Her sisters have all been invited to help out in the family bakery but so far she's being kept out of the family business. With el Dia de los Muertos coming and the bakery being super busy, Leo wants to help. When everyone in her family tells her no, she decides to find out why.

Leo learns that the women in her family are brujas de la cocina (kitchen witches). There are normal recetas (recipes) and magical ones. She convinces her older sisters to teach her simple spells and then things get out of hand. Can Leo fix things without getting Mami involved?

It took me a while to get into Leo's story because it seemed so improbable that a family with such a long standing magical tradition would be capable of keeping it a secret from those who aren't into their powers yet. It also seemed like a wasted opportunity to teach before their are actual magical stakes at risk. I also found it odd that Leo wasn't taught Spanish even though she would be needing it later on to read the recipes. The original, untranslated recipes are included in the body of book, as are Leo's English translations at the back of the book.

Qualms aside, the reasons are explained in story and once the stage it set the resulting story is a good mixture of humor and consequences. Leo working magic unsupervised goes horribly wrong but she is able to undo her mistakes.

Book two, A Sprinkle of Spirits comes out in 2019.

Five stars

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