Joey is excited and nervous about the school dance because Marlen, the love of his life, has agreed to be his date. But Joey has heard rumors that she might be meeting someone else, and as he waits for her to show up he can’t help but worry the gossip may be true. Sure enough, a suave, well-dressed stranger asks Marlen to dance before Joey can even get to her. And soon the handsome couple is burning up the dance floor literally!
In this collection of stories based on Mexican-American lore, author and educator Rene Saldaña, Jr. spins age-old tales with a contemporary twist. Lauro and Miguel run for their lives with La Llorona’s cold breath on their necks after being caught smoking cigarettes down by the river. There’s Felipe, who s so determined to win back the Penitas Grand Master Marble Champion title that he’s willing to make a deal for a shooter with a supernatural edge. And when Louie’s leg swells up after he cuts his toe playing with a knife, he can’t help but wonder if his mom’s warning could be true. Are his guts really going to spill out of his wound because he cut himself doing something stupid?
Set in the author’s native South Texas, these are the stories parents have told their children for generations to discourage bad behavior and encourage kids to stay close to home. But Saldaña breathes new life into these traditional tales with contemporary settings, issues and conflicts that are sure to resonate with today’s youth.