Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river.
It's all they've heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.
Hating her mother's humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it's the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right.
Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.
Tehlor Kay Mejia is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult fantasy novel We Set the Dark on Fire, as well as its forthcoming sequel, We Unleash the Merciless Storm, and Miss Meteor (co-written with National Book Award nominee Anna-Marie McLemore).
Her debut novel received six starred reviews, and was chosen as an Indie's Next Pick and a Junior Library Guild selection, as well as being an Indiebound bestseller in the Pacific Northwest region. It has been featured in Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and O by Oprah Magazine's, and named a best book of 2019 by Kirkus and School Library Journal.
Tehlor lives in Oregon with her daughter, two very small dogs, and several rescued houseplants.
Please consider purchasing a "ticket" to support RJ Julia Booksellers' virtual event series. A "choose your own price" ticket purchase of any amount greatly benefits our programming options.
Your support enables RJ Julia to continue providing engaging, informative, and entertaining events for readers of all ages.
We are so grateful for your continued support!