Published by Walden Pond Press
Summary: 11-year-old Leonora (Leo) is tired of being left out of the family business. Her four older sisters get to help out at the bakery, and when they get to miss school the day before Dia de los Muertos, Leo has had enough. She sneaks out of school and into the bakery, where she secretly witnesses the induction ceremony of her 14-year-old twin sisters. Turns out all the females of Leo’s family are brujas, or witches, and they practice their magic through their baking. Leo is supposed to wait a few more years for her turn, but she is too impatient. She learns just enough about magic to get into trouble, and when her best friend Caroline turns to her for help with a boy, Leo can’t resist. She definitely has the powers of a bruja, but learning how to use them correctly is another matter, and Leo discovers she must depend on the wisdom of her family to help her. Includes recipes for three of the baked goods from the story. 320 pages; grades 3-7.
Pros: This is sure to be a popular choice for middle grade readers, combining the realistic elements of a likeable but trouble-prone protagonist and loving family members with the fun of magical fantasy woven in.
Cons: For some reason, each time I got back to reading this book, I expected it to be told in the first person; I can’t help thinking that would have made for a stronger narration.