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The Storyteller’s Death by Ann Dávila Cardinal []



The cuentistas in Isla Larsen Sanchez’s family carry their stories through generations. Isla spends summers on the family compound in Puerto Rico with her great-aunt Alma, and lives the rest of the year in New Jersey with her widowed mother. During the summer of her eighteenth year, she learns that she shares the family gift. She experiences the story of each deceased cuentista in visions that repeat at the same time every day until she understands details customarily left out of their telling. In a story shared between her grandmother and great-aunt, Isla witnesses the death of her great-grandfather and, on repetition, is grazed by the bullet that kills him. In order to understand what really happened, she must ask her family and others who were on the estate at the time to reveal what they know, trying to uncover secrets they’ve kept for decades. In the process, Isla learns about her family history and the legacies of racism, sexism, and classism she is inheriting. A great read for fans of stories set in the Caribbean and tales of magic, love, and family.

YA crossover appeal: Isla’s coming of age as a daughter of two countries and traditions will provide a compelling tale for teens.

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