At one time or another most of us have wished for the ability to understand and talk to animals. Nestor Lopez, a Cuban American boy has this gift. Nestor’s father is in the army and Nestor has had to move from town to town, so it’s hard to settle in and make friends.

This time his mother has moved in with family, Nestor’s abuela (his father’s mother), in Texas. Cuevas does a wonderful job of bringing us into Nestor’s life, school, home, the woods… I should mention something mysterious and bad is happening in the woods. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so let’s just say that in a story with good animal magic, there’s also scary animal magic.

The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez is full of mythology and real animal facts. A fun read for all and a great read for kids who have had to move around often. It can be challenging to let your guard down and find a home. A fast-paced tale of family, friends, magic, and adventure.

Many new Middle Grade books tend to leave a lot of threads loose at the end for sequels – though this character would totally be able to have sequels, Cuevas provides a satisfying ending. Enjoy this fast-paced tale of family, friends, magic, and adventure.

Grades 4 - 6