Las muchas muertes de Pancho Villa

Gr 5—8—Reminiscent of a Scooby-Doo mystery adventure, this story features two youngsters who risk harm in order to uncover the strange goings-on in an alley of their small Mexican town. One day, a mysterious woman befriends Doro at the park. She draws his attention with the secret that she has inherited the personal diary of Pancho Villa. She promises to allow him to read it if he agrees to help her with some important work for a historian who is researching the town's legendary alley. She offers Doro a camera to enlist his assistance. Excited to play detective and take pictures, the boy recruits his friend Andres to sneak out at night and camp out at the site where local legend pinpoints the ambush of Pancho Villa, and the assassination, supposedly, is reenacted nightly by ghosts. Along with black-and-white line drawings that depict key action scenes of the suspenseful plot, the story introduces educational tidbits about the revolutionary icon. And while the shenanigans of phantoms and violent scenes might not be for squeamish readers, the allure of the denouement may just keep them turning the pages.—Gisela Norat, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA

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