"Garber’s gorgeous novel combines the wonder of a Hogwarts-style magic school with the Twilight-esque dynamics of a hidden magical species that has strict rules about interacting with the human world." - BOOKLIST (Starred Review)
Some people ARE illegal.
Lobizonas do NOT exist.
Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who's on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu's protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past—a mysterious "Z" emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
“With vivid characters that take on a life of their own, beautiful details that peel back the curtain on Romina's Argentinian heritage, and cutting prose Romina Garber crafts a timely tale of identity and adventure.”–Tomi Adeyemi New York Times bestselling author of Children of Blood and Bone
Sixteen-year-old Manu has spent her whole life in hiding; even as her period substantially changes her body each month, she cannot visit the doctor. She and her mother are undocumented immigrants from Argentina, though Manu has no memory of her early childhood there. Fearing deportation, they stick within the area around their Miami apartment complex, and Manu keeps her strange eyes covered eyes that she inherited from her late father, once part of a powerful criminal organization. When the elderly woman they live with is sent to the hospital with a head injury and ICE takes Manu's mother into custody, it is suspected that Manu's father's family is behind it all. Alone for the first time in her life, the girl embarks on a journey that leads her to a secret magical society of werewolves and witches straight out of the folklore she grew up on. In a timely work of magical realism featuring references to Borges and Garcia M rquez, Garber (the Zodiac series) tackles issues of nationalism, identity, and belonging. Armed with love for her family and from her new friends, Manu's quest for belonging empowers her transformation from a girl in hiding to the symbol of a movement. This layered novel blends languages and cultures to create a narrative that celebrates perseverance. Ages 12 up. \n