“Because …………….. magic”
I had been hearing some buzz about a book titled “Tortilla Sun” and was excited to see that the author Jennifer Cervantes was going to be in town for a book signing. I am always wary of reading a book that has received too many glowing reviews because I think it is difficult for anything to live up to the hype. I am happy to say that in this case I was not disappointed.
From the jacket flap:
Sometimes you can’t see the magic. You just know it’s there because you can feel it.
When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the partially obscured phrase “Because…………magic,” she is determined to figure out the missing words. Could her father have written them? What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn’t sharing any– especially when it comes to Izzy’s father, who died before Izzy was born.
Before she can learn more, Izzy is told that she is going to spend the summer with her grandmother in New Mexico. When Izzy arrives in the rustic adobe village, she finds herself in a place where the wind whispers secrets and her nana plucks magic herbs in the moonlight. Even chocolate-eyed Mateo is convinced there is ghost treasure buried in the hills. Could this strange place hold the keys to all that Izzy has been searching for?
With a belly full of homemade tortillas, the help of new friends, and a cat who thinks she’s a dog, Izzy finds herself on an adventure to connect the hidden pieces of her past. And just maybe she will discover the missing words that change her life forever…but only if she can learn to create a few words of her own.
This debut novel is a heart warming story, sprinkled with just a little bit of magic. Jennifer Cervantes does a wonderful job of drawing you into the adobe village in New Mexico and taking you along with Izzy as she learns more about the mystery of her father, and learns a little about herself along the way. Her dialog is crisp and clear, I can imagine being in the room with Nana and Izzy.
I was especially touched by the chapter titled “Some Threads are Shorter Than Others,” and found myself wiping tears as Izzy’s Grandmother explained the pending death of a character.
I look forward to reading more stories from this author and trying out the tortilla recipe in the back of the book.
Writing on the Sidewalk