Vincent Ventura and the Mystery of the Witch Owl/Vincent Ventura y el misterio de la bruja lechuza: A Monster Fighter Mystery/serie Exterminador de monstruos

Piñata. (A Monster Fighter Mystery / Serie Exterminador de Monstruos: Bk. 2). Oct. 2019. 144p. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781558858909.
Gr 4-7–Now that the neighborhood haunted house, 666 Duende Street, is up for rent again, Vincent Ventura is ready with his monster kit and his handy-dandy binoculars. When a single parent and his teen daughter move in, Vincent nearly falls out of his tree house. The girl catches his eye and his 13-year-old heart. But a mystery is brewing; three large white owls land in the tree beside their house. The owls swoop to the ground and transform into dark-robed women: witch owls. Once again, monsters are back in Vincent’s barrio. His cousin Michelle marches up to the new girl for an introduction and they find out that Zulema Ortiz is from Catemaco, Veracruz in Mexico—the witchcraft capital of the world. It doesn’t matter that she has just moved from Pittsburgh, what matters is her connection to the witch owls Vincent saw by her house. Is Zulema a witch owl, too?
VERDICT Garza’s boy detective is back. This fun, illustrated Spanish/English short chapter book has enough Mexican folklore and American teen angst to keep middle grade and reluctant readers interested in the otherworldly adventures of the monster-fighter extraordinaire.

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