Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza (Hardcover)
Not every stranger is a monster. And not every monster is a stranger. In this action-packed and emotionally fraught adventure, Omega Morales–with the help of her cousin and her best friend (who happens to be a ghost)–will unravel family history, secrets about the identity of La Lechuza, and might finally learn how to use her magic like her family has for centuries.
Jenna— From Staff Picks: Intermediate
Omega Morales’s family has been practicing magic for centuries in Noche Buena. But over the years, the town's reputation for the supernatural is no longer one the people carry with pride. So Omega’s family keeps to themselves, and in private, they’re Empaths: diviners who can read and manipulate the emotions of people and objects around them. But Omega’s powers don’t quite work, and it leaves her feeling like an outsider in her own family.
When a witch with the power to transform herself into an owl—known in Mexican folklore as La Lechuza—shows up unannounced, Omega, her best friend Clau (who happens to be a ghost), and her cousin Carlitos must conduct a séance under a full moon in order to unravel the mystery of the legend.
Suddenly Omega’s magic begins to change, and the key to understanding her powers is more complicated than she thought. Omega will have to decide what’s more important—trusting the instincts of others or learning to trust in herself.
This spooky middle-grade debut is full of magic, adventure, friendship, and a captivating heroine who isn’t afraid of the monsters lurking around every corner—even the dangerous La Lechuza!
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year
* "Silver linings balance emotionally fraught moments involving bullying, death and grief, and hate in this well-crafted tale that manages to both deliver scares and elicit laughs."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Full of dark mystery and unique and memorable characters, Kemp’s middle grade debut will enchant readers. Heartfelt and suspenseful, this title is an excellent choice for middle grade collections."
—School Library Journal, starred review
“Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza is a masterful adventure filled to the brim with magic, myth, and mystery. Laekan Zea Kemp’s propulsive writing, relatable characters, and action-packed plot make this book unputdownable. It’s the story I needed as a child.”—Alex Aster, award-winning author of the Emblem Island series
“Absolutely captivating. Shimmers with the warmth of family and friends and mesmerizing magic.”—Julie Abe, author of the Eva Evergreen series
"Kemp’s middle-grade debut is an entertaining, sometimes frightening, and thought-provoking story that comments on generational trauma, bullying, friendship, and family. Readers will relate to Omega’s struggles to trust herself in difficult situations."—Horn Book
"With a fun mixture of the supernatural, Mexican folklore, and generational magic, Kemp creates an entertaining story that touches upon family, friendships, and loss."—Booklist
"Kemp weaves a page-turning plot while executing a satisfyingly slow reveal of the story’s core secret and the characters surrounding it….A satisfying mystery with depths to plumb."—Kirkus