Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows

Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows

by Ryan Calejo


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“This is a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan’s many series, particularly for those eager for mythologies beyond Greek and Roman stories.” —Booklist (starred review)

“A winner for all kids, but it will be especially beloved by Latinx and Hispanic families.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.

Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.

But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.

Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).

No pressure, muchacho.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781534426580
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 10/23/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 97,152
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Ryan Calejo was born and raised in south Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami with a BA. He’s been invited to join both the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key International Honour Society. He teaches swimming to elementary school students, chess to middle school students, and writing to high school students. Having been born into a family of immigrants and growing up in the so-called “Capital of Latin America,” Ryan knows the importance of diversity in our communities and is passionate about writing books that children of all ethnicities can relate to. His first novel was Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows.

Read an Excerpt

Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows

Myths, my abuela used to say, are truths long forgotten by the world.

Which is probably why she collected them the way some people collect stamps. Or mugs with pictures of kittens on them. She gathered tales of enormous, horned, snakelike sea creatures, of two-headed vampire dogs with glowing red eyes, of terrifying man-eating ghouls that stalk the night, searching for naughty children to kidnap.

The myths came from all over the Spanish-speaking world. From Madrid to Quito. Mexico City to Buenos Aires. Most of them were hundreds of years old, almost as old as the cultures that had inspired them. Some had spread quickly around the globe, spread like wildfire. Others never even left the tiny rural towns where they’d first been told.

All her life my grandma had been obsessed with Hispanic mythology, with all the legends and stories and folklore, and had spent years teaching them to me.

When I was little we used to hang out in the kitchen on lazy Saturday afternoons, me in my Power Rangers pj’s and chancletas, my abuela telling her favorite tales from memory, making the epic battles and ghoulish monsters come to life with every gesture of her brown and wrinkled hands.

Afterward, she would quiz me on what I’d heard; we played this little game, sort of like Pictionary, where she’d draw a quick sketch of one of the characters, and I would have to guess who—or, in most cases, what—it was. If I got four in a row, she’d let me eat leche condensada right out of the can, which might’ve been the only thing I enjoyed more than listening to her stories.

At the time I thought it was all just for fun, a cool little game between the two of us. But I should’ve known better; my abuela hated party games.

Customer Reviews

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Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My nephew really enjoyed Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows. He told me auntie, I give it an A++. I bought the book at the Austin Texas Book Fair after listening to the author. Is a wonderful story that transports you to the land of myths and legends. I just ordered 3 books to give to my other nephews as a gift for Valentine's Day. I know they are going to enjoy and learn much from this book. No pressure muchacho…
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVED IT! Without a doubt my favorite children's book I have read in a long, long time. And I read a lot. It took me back to my childhood. Really enjoyed the diversity aspect and all the Spanish phrases and words. Highly recommend it! I bought this book at my local Barnes and Noble and I am always amazed by the customer service and the personalized attention given to me by the staff.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
You can find more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away... For the most part I enjoyed this, but it seemed like it was missing quite a bit of something. With names drops like The Lightning Thief and The Story Thieves I was expecting so much more. I wanted to love this so much more than I did because I had been waiting on this for a very long time. Charlie Hernandez has lived a very normal life up until recently. His parents have disappeared and some pretty weird things have started happening to him. His long-time crush sees that something's going on with him and together they try to make sense of it. It turns out that the situation is much bigger than either one of them thought. The stories that Charlie's grandmother used to tell him are actually true and Charlie has to fight them to save his parents and the world. With title drops like The Lightning Thief, I was expecting to LOVE this. I eagerly anticipated this because of the different twist on mythology, so all of this rolled into one should have been a recipe to become a favorite of mine. However, that's not what happened. It just felt like it was missing something. I probably wouldn't say that if I hadn't JUST read another book on Hispanic mythology last month, but that one stood out more to me. Don't get me wrong, we need both, but this one just felt plain and generic. As for the mythology aspect, I wish that he had given a little more information about each god and goddess and their background. In the book he passed over them and their myth.With them being from all over Central America, I would have appreciated learning a bit more about the background of each and why he chose to pick those gods/goddesses. I think had I not just read something so close to this, I would have probably enjoyed this one more. However, this one just did not stand out as much to me. It was unfortunate since it's about all Hispanic myths and stories instead of focusing on just one aspect of their culture. However, this is still a read you should pick up.Give it a read and see what you think of it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Careful....once you start reading, you won't be able to put it down! A wonderful adventure for all ages, full of excitement and humor. Loved the attention to detail. It's great that the mythological creatures come from Hispanic tradition, so I learned about the culture as well. As soon as I put it down, I ordered another book for a friend. I hope another Charlie Hernandez book comes out soon! I highly recommend it.