- Gabby Womack
Valentina Salazar is NOT a Monster Hunter by Zoraida Córdova
"This middle-grade novel has everything: magical creatures, and adventurous family, super cool friends, and a big mystery at its center."
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Representation: Latinx, Ecuadorian
Content Warnings: Grief, Death of a parent (mentioned)
"It takes a special person to end up in detention on the last day of school.
It takes a REALLY special person to accidentally burn down the schoolyard while chasing a fire-breathing chipmunk.
But nothing about Valentina Salazar has ever been “normal.” The Salazars are protectors, tasked with rescuing the magical creatures who sometimes wander into our world, from grumpy unicorns to chupacabras . . . to the occasional fire-breathing chipmunk.
When Val’s father is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong, her mother decides it’s time to retire from their life on the road. She moves the family to a boring little town in upstate New York and enrolls Val and her siblings in real school for the first time.
But Val is a protector at heart and she can’t give up her calling. So when a mythical egg surfaces in a viral video, Val convinces her reluctant siblings to help her find the egg before it hatches and wreaks havoc. But she has some competition: the dreaded monster hunters who’ll stop at nothing to destroy the creature . . . and the Salazar family." - Author's Website
Zoraida Córdova is an amazing author with such versatility! This middle-grade novel has everything: magical creatures, and adventurous family, super cool friends, and a big mystery at its center. Valentina is adorable, strong-willed, and gutsy! She's exactly the kind of character I would have connected with as a kid.
The monsters in this book are inspired by international tales which makes the story even more intriguing. I knew of some mentioned but was fascinated by the way Córdova built a whole other world for them. I'm a big fan!