Panel: Virtual Pachanga: Las Musas Squad

Live Q&A with Chantel Acevedo Thursday, November 19 @ 5:30 p.m. EST! Grades 3 – 7 Moderated by Freda Mosquera, community library manager at Broward County Library. Muse Squad: The […]

Panel: Virtual Pachanga: Las Musas Squad

Authors:Freda Mosquera, Adrianna Cuevas, Alex Aster , Zoraida Córdova , Chantel Acevedo

Live Q&A with Chantel Acevedo Thursday, November 19 @ 5:30 p.m. EST!

Grades 3 – 7

Moderated by Freda Mosquera, community library manager at Broward County Library.

Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse is Chantel Acevedo‘s action-packed fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology. Inspired by Latin American myths, Alex Aster‘s Curse of the Night Witch tells the story of Tor Luna and Emblem Island and the great adventure of deciding one’s own path. In Zoraida Cordova‘s The Way to Rio Luna, 11-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic and fairy tales. Most of all, he believes they will take him to his beloved older sister, who has mysteriously disappeared from her group home. In The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas, a Cuban American boy must use his secret ability to communicate with animals to save the inhabitants of his town when they are threatened by a “tule vieja,” a witch that transforms into animals.

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Freda Mosquera

Freda Mosquera is a librarian, published author, translator and public speaker. She is a member of the American Library Association (ALA) and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. She is the Community Library Manager at the Lauderdale Lakes Library from the Broward County Library System and moderator of Broward County Library’s Spanish Online Book Club. Mosquera has been a presenter and speaker at several professional conferences, literary events and book fairs. 

Adrianna Cuevas

Adrianna Cuevas is a first-generation Cuban-American originally from Miami, Florida. After teaching Spanish and ESOL for sixteen years, she decided to pursue her passion for storytelling. The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is her middle-grade debut. In The Total Eclipse, we meet Nestor Lopez. He just wants is to live in one place for more than a few months and have dinner with his dad. When he and his mother move to a new town to live with his grandmother after his dad’s latest deployment, Nestor plans to lay low. He definitely doesn’t want to anyone find out his deepest secret: that he can talk to animals. But when the animals in his new town start disappearing, Nestor’s grandmother becomes the prime suspect. As Nestor investigates the disappearances, he learns that they are being seized by a tule vieja—a witch who can absorb an animal’s powers by biting it during a solar eclipse. And the next eclipse is just around the corner. Now it’s up to Nestor and his new friends to catch the witch and save the place. Publisher’s Weekly called it “… a tense, satisfying tale of magic, family, and finding one’s true home.”

Alex Aster

Alex Aster is a recently graduate from The University of Pennsylvania where she majored in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing. She started writing when she was 13 and has written six books. Curse of the Night Witch (Sourcebooks Young Readers) is just the first one published. The Emblem Island series is inspired by the Latin American myths her Colombian grandmother told her as a child before bedtime. On Emblem Island all are born knowing their fate. Their lifelines show the course of their life and an emblem dictates how they will spend it. Twelve-year-old Tor Luna was born with a leadership emblem, just like his mother. But he hates his destiny and is determined to choose a different path for himself. So, on the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, Tor wishes for a different power. The next morning, he wakes up to discover a new marking on his skin. It’s a curse that gives him only a week to live. The only one way to break the curse requires a trip to the notorious Night Witch. With two friends by his side, Tor must travel across a land filled with wicked creatures he only knows through ancient myths, in a race against his dwindling lifeline.

Zoraida Córdova

Zoraida Córdova is the author of nine fantasy novels for kids and teens, most recently the Brooklyn Brujas series, Incendiary, and Star Wars: A Crash of Fate. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, Come on In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home, and Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft. She is the co-editor of Vampires Never Get Old: Eleven Tales with Fresh Bite. In Cordova’s debut middle grade novel The Way to Rio Luna (Scholastic Inc.) eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic, pixie dust and rabbit holes lead to Wonderland. Most of all, he believes that his older sister, Pili, is waiting for him somewhere in Rio Luna, the enchanted land in their favorite book of fairy tales. When the siblings were placed in separate foster homes, she promised that she’d come back for him, and they’d build a new life together in Rio Luna. As the years pass, Danny’s faith begins to dim. But just when he thinks it might be time to put fairy tales behind him, he finds a collection of stories that contain hints about how to reach another world. A map to Rio Luna and to Pili. School Library Journal said that “With its diverse, fully-realized cast of characters and inventive world-building, this complex adventure quest is a rare treat for fantasy lovers and those who believe in magic.”

Chantel Acevedo

Born in Miami to Cuban parents, Chantel Acevedo is the author of adult novels, including The Distant Marvels. Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse (Balzer + Bray), her debut middle grade novel is an action-packed fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology. Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret. Taken to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring things out. When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving. As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time? Publishers Weekly noted that “Acevedo successfully deploys a mixture of imagination and sincerity in this magical duology opener with a message of art’s importance and awakening the hero within.”

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