Today we celebrate the book birthday of Mari And The Curse of El Cocodrilo. We sat down with Musa Adrianna Cuevas to learn all about the inspiration behind this book.
But first, a little bit about Adrianna's new book:
If Mari Feijoo could, she would turn her family’s Peak Cubanity down a notch, just enough so that her snooping neighbor and classmate Mykenzye wouldn’t have anything to tease her about. That’s why this year, there’s no way that Mari’s joining in on one of the big-gest Feijoo family traditions—burning the New Year’s Eve effigy her abuela makes. Only Mari never suspects that failing to toss her effigy in the fire would bring something much worse than sneering words at school: a curse of bad luck from El Cocodrilo. Instead of focusing on her mariachi band tryout, Mari and her friends Keisha and Juan Carlos are racing against the clock to break the curse. But when Mari discovers her family’s gift to call upon their ancestors, she and her friends will have to find a way to work with the unexpected help that arrives from the far corners of Mari’s family tree. Only will it be enough to defeat El Cocodrilo before he makes their last year of elementary school the worst ever and tears their friendship apart?
What three words would you use to describe this book?
Chaos… more chaos.
Where did you get the idea to write this particular story?
I always tell students during school visits that I start every story by asking myself ‘What if?’ It was no different for this story. I asked myself, “What if you were cursed with bad luck?” It was an attractive question since I’m always wanting to write plot-driven stories with heavy doses of humor and scares. A bad luck curse would easily allow me to accomplish that kind of story. From there, I decided that my internal plot was going to revolve around a girl who was embarrassed by her heritage and family traditions. I always try to tie together my external and internal plots so the story fell together as I took Mari on her journey battling the curse and coming to terms with her over-the-top family.
What's next for you as an author?
On October 31st, Monster High: A Fright to Remember releases from Abrams! This is my first IP project with Mattel/Nickelodeon and I had so much fun crafting a story for the Monster High world. Next year, I’ll have three books publishing… and I can’t wait to talk about them!
What books are on your to-be-read list?
I’m excited to read Shad Hadid and the Forbidden Alchemies by George Jreije, Alex Wise vs the End of the World by Terry J. Benton-Walker, Warrior Girl by Carmen Tafolla, and Barely Floating by Liliam Rivera.
Now if only I could get off deadline . . .
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