Wednesday, July 15, 2020


By Viola Canales


  • ISBN: 978-1-55885-877-0
  • Publication Date: October 31, 2020
  • Format: Trade paperback
  • Pages: 344
  • Imprint: Piñata Books
  • Ages: 11-16


This entertaining novel for young adults about good and evil also explores the conflict between contemporary and traditional ways of life.

Everyone in fourteen-year-old Cecilia’s Mexican-American community has a don— a special gift or talent. Her father, who’s named after St. Anthony, helps people find things, or parts of themselves, that they’ve lost. Paco, the janitor in the building where she lives, can tell fortunes. Cecilia can’t figure out hers, and she really needs to since her confirmation is coming up.

The truth is, Cecilia doesn’t really believe people have celestial gifts. Her opinion begins to change when she gets apprenticed to Doña Faustina, who has a magic way with coffee. Soon Cecilia realizes that her apprenticeship involves something more sinister than a mystical brew! And on a trip back to the special Mexican village of Santa Cecilia, she and her friends Julie and Lebna learn something about friendship, community and the powers of good and evil.

Award-winning author Viola Canales returns with an appealing novel for teens that highlights a Mexican-American immigrant community and the conflict first-generation young adults experience caught between contemporary American life and their parents’ traditional ways.


VIOLA CANALES is the author of Orange Candy Slices and Other Secret Tales (Piñata Books, 2001); The Tequila Worm (Random House, 2005), winner of the 2006 Pura Belpré Medal; and The Little Devil and the Rose: Lotería Poems / El diablito y la rosa: poemas de la lotería(Arte Público Press, 2014).

A native of McAllen, Texas, she is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She spent four years in the US Army as a commissioned officer and has worked as a litigation and trial attorney. Canales currently lives in Stanford, California.

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