Secret of the Moon Conch (Hardcover)
Award-winning authors David Bowles and Guadalupe García McCall join forces to craft a sweeping fantasy romance about falling in love despite all odds.
In modern-day Mexico, Sitlali is all alone after the death of her beloved abuela. Targeted by a dangerous gang member, she flees to the United States to find her father. The night before her journey, she finds an ancient conch shell on the beach and takes it with her as a memento of home.
In 1521, Calizto is trapped in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, which is besieged by Spanish invaders. He has fought valiantly, but hope for his people is running out. Desperate to escape, he takes up his mother's sacred conch and sounds a plea to the gods.
The conch holds magic neither Sitlali nor Calizto understand, magic that allows them to communicate across centuries--and find comfort in each other as they fight to survive. With each conversation, they fall deeper in love, and as the moon waxes, they become more present to each other. But as danger threatens at every turn, will they ever find a way to truly be together?
David Bowles is an award-winning Mexican American author and translator from Texas. His books include The Smoking Mirror, Feathered Serpent Dark Heart of Sky, and They Call Me Güero. He has been published in the New York Times, School Library Journal, Strange Horizons, English Journal, Rattle, Translation Review, and the Journal of Children's Literature. In 2017, he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters, and in 2020, he co-founded #DignidadLiteraria, a social justice movement advocating for greater Latinx representation in publishing.
Guadalupe García McCall is the award-winning author of Under the Mesquite, Summer of the Mariposas, Shame the Stars, All the Stars Denied, and Echoes of Grace. She has received a Pura Belpré Author Award, a Westchester Young Adult Fiction Award, and the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award, and was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award and the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, among many other accolades. She advocates for literacy and diverse books. She lives with her husband in Texas.
“An excellent romantic fantasy woven with timeless themes. The authors juxtapose historical aspects of Aztec civilization with today's current events, calling attention to strains that migrants experience in modern-day detention centers. Young adults will thoroughly enjoy this riveting, long-distance love story.” —Booklist, starred review
"By turns heartfelt and heart-pounding, this story will grip readers to the final pages." - The Horn Book
“The alternating perspectives brim with vitality, pulling the reader into each moment while intertwining ever more closely the shared threads of indigeneity, colonial oppression, and hope for a more peaceful future.” —BCCB
“A gentle love story and action-packed sequences elevate this sobering read.” —Publishers Weekly