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Henry Holt & Company

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa

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The Land of Stories meets Dominican myths and legends come to life in Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa, a blockbuster contemporary middle-grade fantasy duology starter from Julian Randall. Fans of Tristan Strong and The Storm Runner, here is your next obsession.

"A breathtaking journey . . . readers better hold on tight." --Kwame Mbalia, New York Times bestselling author of the Tristan Strong series

Twelve-year-old Pilar Violeta "Purp" Ramirez's world is changing, and she doesn't care for it one bit. Her Chicago neighborhood is gentrifying and her chores have doubled since her sister, Lorena, left for college. The only constant is Abuela and Mami's code of silence around her cousin Natasha--who vanished in the Dominican Republic fifty years ago during the Trujillo dictatorship.

When Pilar hears that Lorena's professor studies such disappearances, she hops on the next train to dig deeper into her family's mystery. After snooping around the professor's empty office, she discovers a folder with her cousin's name on it . . . and gets sucked into the blank page within.

She lands on Zafa, an island swarming with coconut-shaped demons, butterfly shapeshifters, and a sinister magical prison where her cousin is being held captive. Pilar will have to go toe-to-toe with the fearsome Dominican boogeyman, El Cuco, if she has any hope of freeing Natasha and getting back home.

"Magic awaits around every corner in Zafa. Nonstop action and plenty of heart create a story worth escaping into." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Author: Julian Randall
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Published: 03/01/2022
Pages: 304
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 8.40h x 5.70w x 1.20d
ISBN: 9781250774101

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 5.8
Point Value: 10
Interest Level: Middle Grade
Quiz #/Name: 515848 / Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa


Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 12/15/2021
Publishers Weekly 01/31/2022
Booklist 02/15/2022 pg. 65
School Library Journal 03/11/2022 pg. 1

About the Author
Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. His poetry and essays are published in the New York Times Magazine, POETRY, The Atlantic, and Vibe. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian holds an MFA in Poetry from Ole Miss. His first book, Refuse, won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Julian has previously worked as a youth mentor, teaching writing workshops to children on house arrest. Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa is his debut children's novel. Follow him on Twitter!

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