Omega Morales and the Curse of El Cucuy (Hardcover)
Fans of Paola Santiago and the River of Tears and Ghost Squad will root for Omega Morales as she learns to trust her newfound powers when she comes face-to-face with the Mexican legend El Cucuy.
After discovering that she has the unique ability to affect the emotions of supernatural creatures, Omega is certain she’s strong enough to handle the feelings of others on Día de Muertos. But when darkness overwhelms her, it’s a sign that not only is she still vulnerable but that there may be a new malicious presence in Noche Buena.
When a child goes missing at the cemetery, panic ensues, prompting the new sheriff to open an investigation. But then another child is taken, and another. Soon, with the help of Carlitos, Omega discovers that El Cucuy—the boogeyman—is responsible for the disappearances. And it doesn’t take long for Omega to realize that, just like with La Lechuza, she might be the only one who can stop him—but at what cost?
A Junior Library Guild Selection
* "Silver linings balance emotionally fraught moments involving bullying, death and grief, and hate in this well-crafted tale that manages to both deliver scares and elicit laughs."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Full of dark mystery and unique and memorable characters, Kemp’s middle grade debut will enchant readers. Heartfelt and suspenseful, this title is an excellent choice for middle grade collections."—School Library Journal, starred review
“Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza is a masterful adventure filled to the brim with magic, myth, and mystery. Laekan Zea Kemp’s propulsive writing, relatable characters, and action-packed plot make this book unputdownable. It’s the story I needed as a child.”—Alex Aster, award-winning author of the Emblem Island series
“Absolutely captivating. Shimmers with the warmth of family and friends and mesmerizing magic.”—Julie Abe, author of the Eva Evergreen series
"Kemp’s middle-grade debut is an entertaining, sometimes frightening, and thought-provoking story that comments on generational trauma, bullying, friendship, and family. Readers will relate to Omega’s struggles to trust herself in difficult situations."—Horn Book
"With a fun mixture of the supernatural, Mexican folklore, and generational magic, Kemp creates an entertaining story that touches upon family, friendships, and loss."—Booklist
"Kemp weaves a page-turning plot while executing a satisfyingly slow reveal of the story’s core secret and the characters surrounding it…. A satisfying mystery with depths to plumb."—Kirkus