Book: Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega
Release Date: April 7th 2020
Tags: Middle Grade / Fantasy / Supernatural / Paranormal / Ghosts / Possessions / Family / Witches / Friendship / Dominican MC / Dominican Folklore / Black MC
Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late.
One book that had been high on my 2020 reading list was Ghost Squad for sure. I have followed Claribel Ortega on Twitter for a while. Ghost Squad just sounded so good. I have a soft spot for fantasy Middle Grade as it is and the promise of a family feeling supernatural kind of book, just sounded great to me.
And it certainly delivers on that front. This story is full of family and friendship. Starting of course with Lucely and her family of firefly spirits that inhabit the tree in the garden, at the back of her house. She didn’t all know them in life, but she certainly has formed a connection with all of them. I thought that was beautiful.
And of course her father is up next. He does his best to provide for his family but is struggling in his line of work. Lucely wants to help out her father so they can keep the house. Her father is swallowed by the tension but doesn’t lose track of Lucely when the shit hits the fan near the end. I really appreciated that there wasn’t just one but 2 adults at the end there. They didn’t take away from our young heroines but they were there for them regardless. That is something I so often miss.
Friendship wise there is an unconditional love between Lucely and her friend Syd. They have some different backgrounds but have found true friendship between them. And Syd’s grandmother, who by the way is a witch, has a good relationship with both girls I think. She certainly doesn’t let them get away with things. It all felt like a warm hug, with these characters.
Of course there is Chunk. One does need a cat along. And Chunk brings quite a bit of attitude to the page, ha. I love when non-talking animals can do that.
Lastly there is of course the importance of the diversity in this book. Our main heroine is Dominican and it brings Dominican folklore to the table. I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall having seen a book about Dominicans or their heritage in a book yet. So that is just super important for this age group to see themselves represented on the age. Syd is also black.
So yes, a very important, but also fun book that will make you feel the feels.