Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza (Paperback)
Fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, and Disney's Encanto will be captivated by this fantastical novel about a girl who must learn to trust her ancestral powers when she comes face-to-face with the Mexican legend La Lechuza.
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.
About the Author
Laekan Zea Kemp is the Pura Belpré Honor author of books for teens (Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet, Heartbreak Symphony, and An Appetite for Miracles), middle grade (Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza and Omega Morales and the Curse of El Cucuy), and picture books (A Crown for Corina). Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health. She lives in Austin, Texas. Laekan invites you to visit her at laekanzeakemp.com or follow her on Twitter @LaekanZeaKemp.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
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