Publication Date: April 4, 2023
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Ages 8 to 12
A new contemporary middle-grade fantasy novel about a Cuban American boy who's sent to work on a ranch as punishment for a school prank gone wrong where he is confronted with a troubling supernatural mystery.
Sometimes parents are creative when they punish you. But not Rafael’s dad. He doesn’t bother with a traditional punishment when he finds out Rafael and his friends tried to steal a slushie machine from the school cafeteria. He skips right over creative, too. He blasts all the way to completely unhinged and bonkers.
That’s how Rafael ends up on a ranch in Middle of Nowhere, New Mexico, thousands of miles from home in Miami. He's content to keep his head down and do as he's told, but his work is inexplicably sabotaged by a strangely familiar man, one with the same floppy brown hair and anxious tics as Rafa. Who is he, and why is he trying so hard to get Rafa kicked off the ranch? Meanwhile, rafa can't help but notice that his mom looks weaker with every video chat. With the help of the ranch manager and Rafa's new friends, he gets to the bottom of the mystery, and confronts his grief along the way.
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