The Way to Rio Luna
The Way to Rio Luna

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Annotation: For fans of The Land of Stories comes an adventure that reveals the secret warnings hidden inside all classic tales -- b... more
Catalog Number: #219718
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 336
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-23954-6 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8418-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-23954-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8418-4
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A boy’s magical adventure to find his lost sister.Danny Monteverde believes in wishes, fairy dust, and fairy tales, but Danny and his sister’s story hasn’t had its happy ending yet. He and Pili have been bounced among foster homes and orphanages for a long time. Unfortunately, the siblings are separated after Danny turns 9, and soon, his sister disappears. The next two years are torturous for Danny, as the siblings’ favorite book and most valuable possession, The Way to Rio Luna, is taken away by Danny’s foster parents after he digs in their backyard trying to find a secret portal to Pili. However, Danny’s luck seems about to change when he discovers the original The Way to Rio Luna with the help of magic arrows on a field trip to the New York Public Library. With newfound friend Glory Papillon and a cast of magical creatures, Danny soon finds out that the magic within him is the key to reuniting with his sister and helping those he encounters on the way. In creating her diverse cast, Córdova opts for physical descriptions, often in the form of simile—“Danny’s hair [is] thick and wavy like ropes of black licorice”; his social worker has skin “like fresh coffee with steamed milk”—rather than specific cultural markers (Glory is also a kid of color). Funny and exciting, Córdova’s story primes readers for a light, amusing series to come.An entertaining series opener. (Fantasy. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
Two years prior to the start of Córdova-s (Incendiary) middle grade debut, 11-year-old Danny and older sister Pili cycle through group and foster homes until being separated. Before Pili disappears entirely-a runaway, Danny-s told-she leaves him with her favorite book, fairy tale volume The Way to Rio Luna. He carries it everywhere, thoroughly annoying his cruel foster siblings and impatient foster parents on Staten Island until the book is taken away. A school trip to the New York Public Library (-the big one with the lions out front-) introduces Danny to Glory Papillon, a girl about his age, and reaffirms his belief in magic-especially when he encounters the original copy of Rio Luna. With Glory-s help, Danny sets out to find his sister, perhaps in Rio Luna. In this fantasy with a classic feel, characters of various skin tones and circumstances prove relatable, catching readers up in their triumphs and tribulations. Ages 8-up. Agent: Adrienne Rosado, Stonesong. (June)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 36 Danny Monteverde has survived the foster care system because of his brave older sister, Pili; their mysterious book of fairy tales, The Way to Rio Luna; and his unshakable belief in magic. But when Pili disappears from her group home and is presumed a runaway, and his foster father throws away his beloved book, Danny's world begins to crumble. This is a classic portal fantasy, a portrait of childhood resilience, and an ode to kids who "have hearts that love and souls that are kind and minds that believe." Córdova infuses Danny's quest and the magical world of Rio Luna with friendship, whimsy, and boundless creativity, from the shrewd Moon Witch and dramatic Jackalope Prince to an adventure that spans New York City, Ecuador, Brazil, and Northern Ireland. Original fairy tales feel ancient alongside references to Neverland and Narnia; the result is a revised canon of children's fantasy literature to center a global mythology, heralded by children of color. Although the plot rushes toward an abrupt ending, readers will eagerly await the next installment. VERDICT With its diverse, fully-realized cast of characters and inventive world-building, this complex adventure quest is a rare treat for fantasy lovers and those who believe in magic. Molly Saunders, Manatee County P.L., Bradenton, FL
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Danilo "Danny" Monteverde has always believed in magic, but when he learns that his sister, Pili, has gone missing from her last foster home, his belief begins to wane. After years of disappointing and hurtful foster care situations, he still hasn't heard from Pili, but he remembers the fairy tales they loved together, especially their favorite book about a land called Rio Luna, where she promised to wait for him. This bouncy, bubbly narrative crafts an original fairy tale, following Danny on his adventure as he makes new friends and quests to save a magical tome and find his lost sister in Rio Luna. Córdova takes classic fairy-tale tropes and structure and modernizes them, adding diversity and providing a fresh storyline that a broad group of children will be able to relate to. Danny and his ragtag friends must find the correct portal and banish an evil Shadow Witch in order to preserve Rio Luna, and along the way they learn much about belonging, family, trust, and creativity. Fans of the Narnia books or Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth will delight in this microcosmic story-within-a-story, full of secrets and surprises and overflowing with introductions to a host of whimsical characters.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist
School Library Journal Starred Review (6/1/20)
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7

For fans of The Land of Stories comes an adventure that reveals the secret warnings hidden inside all classic tales -- beware fairyland at all costs.

Eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic. He knows that pixie dust is real, that wardrobes act as portals, and that rabbit holes lead to Wonderland. Most of all, he believes that his older sister, Pili, is waiting for him somewhere in Rio Luna, the enchanted land in their favorite book of fairy tales.

Danny doesn't care what the adults say. He knows that Pili isn't another teen runaway. When the siblings were placed in separate foster homes, she promised that she'd come back for him, and they'd build a new life together in Rio Luna.

Yet as the years pass, Danny's faith begins to dim. But just when he thinks it might be time to put foolish fairy tales behind him, he finds a mysterious book in the library. It's a collection of stories that contain hints about how to reach another world. A map to Rio Luna . . . and to Pili.

As his adventure takes him from New York to Ecuador to Brazil, Danny learns that meeting your favorite characters isn't always a dream come true. But nothing will stop him from finding his sister . . . even if it means standing up to the greatest threat the magical realm has ever known.

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