A Sprinkle of Spirits: 04/06/19
A Sprinkle of Spirits by Anna Meriano is the second book in the middle grade series, Love Sugar Magic. Leonora (Leo) is now able to practice her magic with her sisters and mother. She is helping in the store and has an idea for improving the magical baking of the treats they're selling. But of course, things are about to go awry and fingers will be pointed at Leo.
Before Leo has a chance to try out her idea, her dead grandmother shows up at her home, trailing marigolds behind her. She's not a ghost. She's a physical being, brought over del Otro Lado. As Leo and Abuelita are trying to figure out what has happened, they become aware of other spirits suddenly back in the neighborhood.
This series isn't like Upside-Down Magic where magic going awry is always fault of the main character or one of her friends. Leo, it's been established, has learned her lesson and has been welcomed (albeit early) into the family craft. This magic, then, isn't hers directly.
While I haven't counted the first book in the road narrative spectrum, this second book clearly makes use of the road narrative construction elements to build the story.
For the travelers we have the entire family working together to solve the mystery of the returning spirits (33). Now in WASP centric road narratives, the family is near the bottom because the family is often framed as something to be protected by the male protagonist, or in horror, to be taken away from him. In road narratives by non-white authors, family sits higher and has more power as a cohesive unit the individuals (children or siblings) do.
The destination is el Otro Lado, or rather, a method of returning the spirits to there. Although they aren't ghosts, they are from the past. For this reason, I'm counting el Otro Lado as uhoria (CC).
Finally, the route is the Blue Highway. I include in this category all the smaller roads that make up a town. The rounding up of the spirits happens along these neighborhood streets. There are times when they even drive the spirits around to keep them out of the attention of unsuspecting living people (33).
Put all together, it's a family traveling the blue highways to help others return to uhoria (33CC33).
It's a delightful second book. I loved seeing Leo and her sisters working together. I like this upbeat family of brujas who are practicing magic fairly openly and benefitting the entire town in the process.
The third book is A Mixture of Mischief and comes out next year.