Friday, October 20, 2023

Don't Mess with a Blood Moon!


TITLE: The Cursed Moon
AUTHOR: Angela Cervantes
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
PUBLISHING DATE: September 5, 2023
PAGES: 224   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: Celebrated author Angela Cervantes' brand new novel combines a chilling ghost story with her award-winning, heartfelt storytelling style. 
One two, the Caretaker’s coming for you. Three-four, you’ll breathe no more. Five-six, you’ll float like sticks. Seven, eight, you’ll meet your fate. 
Rafael Fuentes isn’t easily scared. He loves writing ghost stories, reading scary books, and entertaining his friends with terrifying tales he creates on the spot. Rafa has come up against enough real-life scary situations that fictional hauntings seem like no big deal. 
Rafa’s incarcerated mom is being released from jail soon, and will be coming to live with him, his sister, and their grandparents. For the first time in a while, Rafa feels a pit of fear growing in his stomach. To take his mind off his mom’s return, Rafa spends an evening crafting the scariest ghost story he’s ever told. 
As an eerie blood moon hangs in the sky, Rafa tells a group of friends about The Caretaker. The Caretaker is an evil ghost who lures unsuspecting kids into the neighborhood pond. . . and they don’t ever come out. Rafa is really proud of his latest creation, until strange things start to happen around him. With a sinking feeling, Rafa realizes the Caretaker is real. Rafa has brought the ghost to life―and only he can stop him.

MY THOUGHTS: I picked this up for a MG readathon because it was short and fit one of the prompts. I'm really glad I did because it turned out to be a pretty enjoyable read.

Rafa and his sister Brianna are living with their abuelos because their mother is incarcerated, although she is being released soon. Since the story is told from Rafa's POV, the reader really gets a younger perspective on having a parent incarcerated, feeling he cannot trust them, and taking the role of his sister's primary caretaker and protector.  I felt really bad for Rafa because at times, he really needed to just worry about being a kid and not have to deal with so many adult topics.

Rafa loves to write and tell scary stories and despite warnings, on the night of the blood moon, Rafa tells the story of the Caretaker, a man who abducts kids and disappears in a city pond which only appears on certain nights. Soon Rafa's story starts to come alive, and he realizes he isn't the only kid who has written about the Caretaker.

Rafa also gets some help from the neighborhood cat who turns into a jaguar to protect the family.  If that isn't reason alone to read this book, I don't know what is.  The Cursed Moon does a great job at blending MG horror and Hispanic representation.  Any parent whose child is starting to get interested in horror should definitely grab this one for their shelves.



  1. This does sound like a fun MG fiction.

  2. I love the cover. It's not a genre I read but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. I love that the cat turns into a jaguar:-)