The Ghosts of Rancho Espanto
Author: Adrianna Cuevas
A new middle grade fantasy full of humor and heart from Adrianna Cuevas—author of the Pura Belpré Honor Book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez—perfect for fans of Claribel Ortega's The Ghost Squad and Louis Sachar's Holes.
Rafa would rather live in the world of The Forgotten Age, his favorite fantasy role-playing game, than face his father’s increasing restrictions and his mother’s fading presence. But when Rafa and his friends decide to take the game out into the real world and steal their school cafeteria's slushie machine, his dad concocts a punishment Rafa never could’ve imagined—a month working on a ranch in New Mexico, far away from his friends, their game, and his mom’s quesitos in Miami.
Life at Rancho Espanto isn’t as bad as Rafa initially expected, mostly due to Jennie, a new friend with similarly strong opinions about Cuban and Korean snacks, and Marcus, the veteran barn manager who's not as gruff as he appears. But when Rafa's work at the ranch is inexplicably sabotaged by a man (or a ghost) who may not be what he seems, Rafa and Jennie explore what's behind the strange events at Rancho Espanto—and discover that the greatest mystery may have been with Rafa all along.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)