Salsa Magic (Hardcover)

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Thirteen-year-old Maya Beatriz Montenegro Calderon has vivid recurring dreams where she hears the ocean calling her. Mami’s side of the family is known as “Los Locos,” so maybe she actually is going crazy. But no time for that; the family business is where it’s at. Whenever Maya, her sister Salma, and her three cousins, Ini, Mini, and Mo, aren’t at school, you can usually find three generations of Calderones at CaféTaza, serving up sandwiches de pernil, mofongo, and the best cafés con leche in all of Brooklyn.

One day, an unexpected visit from the estranged Titi Yaya from Puerto Rico changes everything. Because Yaya practices santeria, Abuela tells Maya and the other Calderon children are told to stay away from her. But If la viejita is indeed estranged from the family, why does Maya feel so connected to this woman she has never met before? And who is this orisha named Yemaya? On top of figuring all this out, Maya has a budding soccer career to consider, while fending off the local bully, and dealing with nascent feelings toward her teammate. But through it all, there’s that alluring connection to a forbidden ancient practice–filled with a pantheon of Yoruban gods and goddesses–that keeps tugging at her, offering her a new perspective in life, tying her past to her present and future. Which path will Maya choose to fulfill her destiny?

About the Author

Letisha Marrero has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years across all media and genres. As a culture critic and entertainment journalist, she has written for Latina magazine,The Source, Vibe, NBC, Nickelodeon, and more. Of Puerto Rican and Black Dominican descent, Letisha hails from New York City by way of Southern California. Mom to a super dope human teenager and a majestic but moody blue-eyed dog, Letisha currently lives in Maryland. This is her first novel.

Praise For…

[STAR] “Beguiling… Maya’s lively voice dazzles amid a standout cast that includes her lovably unruly cousins as well as memorable neighbors and classmates of varied Black and Latine heritages. In this evocative multigenerational tale, Marrero cultivates a rich N.Y.C. setting that feels like a character in itself, bursting with even richer depictions of cultural traditions.” – Publishers Weekly (starred)

[STAR] “An expertly written exploration of an Afro-Latine family’s history and the pantheon of West African gods. Marrero’s debut beautifully weaves together themes of family trauma, first crushes, spirituality, and history as Maya embarks on her journey of self-discovery. An uplifting, beautifully rendered story of family bonds and embracing the unknown.” – Kirkus (starred)

“A spirited debut about finding oneself, familial love, and forgiveness.” – Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9781646142606
ISBN-10: 1646142608
Publisher: Levine Querido
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English