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A Mixture of Mischief: 02/22/20

A Mixture of Mischief

A Mixture of Mischief by Anna Meriano is the third in the Love, Sugar, Magic middle grade series. Leo Logroño is becoming an active member of the baking staff with the rest of her family. She's come up with popular cookies and is working to hone her magical skills. Her parents are talking about buying a larger house and her oldest sister wants to go college in New Orleans.

But trouble is on the horizon in the form of an unknown grandfather. He's her father's father and a dangerous brujo. He's dangerous because he's selfish. Now he's offering to train Leo in the art of saltasombra or shadow jumping. It's a form of invisibility and a form of astral projection.

Leo does the sensible thing and declines his offer. She'd prefer to hone her skills within the context of the cooking magic and space magic her mother and sisters use. Abuelo, though, belittles that choice, and that's when things start going bad for the family. Retribution comes in the form of higher rent, a rival bakery, and missing magical items.

RNS chart showing the progression of the three books in the series. Click to see a larger version.

Like the other two books in the series, A Mixture of Mischief sits on the road narrative spectrum. While in stories written by white authors, the first novel, A Dash of Trouble would be the one where Leo is at her most powerful as a solo or orphan traveler, in Latinx stories, families are more powerful and more protected as travelers. Thus the progression of books two, A Sprinkle of Spirits and A Mixture of Mischief through the possibilities of the family traveler (33) stories is expected. It also shows a strengthening of la familia Logroño.

The destination this time is home (66). It's both the protection of the current home and the ability to move into a new home. There are also numerous trips to the home of the potential rival of future Honey Bee Café to search for clues.

The route to home is a metaphorical cornfield. Like Beneath the Sugar Sky, the cornfield is manifest through it's use as baking ingredients (FF).

All together, A Mixture of Mischief is the tale of a family protecting their home by way of the cornfield.

Five stars

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