The turn of a card could change your destiny in this captivating middle grade adventure based on the Lotería card game and perfect for fans of Coco. While searching for her missing cousin, a young girl is transported to a mythical kingdom, becoming entangled in a perilous game of chance.

“A magical, philosophical tale rooted in Mexican lore.” —School Library Journal, starred review


In the hottest hour of the hottest day of the year, a fateful wind blows into Oaxaca City. It whistles down cobbled streets and rustles the jacaranda trees before slipping into the window of an eleven-year-old girl named Clara. Unbeknownst to her, Clara has been marked for la Lotería.
 
Life and Death deal the Lotería cards but once a year, and the stakes could not be higher. Every card reveals a new twist in Clara’s fate—a scorpion, an arrow, a blood-red rose. If Life wins, Clara will live to a ripe old age. If Death prevails, she’ll flicker out like a candle. 
 
But Clara knows none of this. All she knows is that her young cousin Esteban has vanished, and she’ll do whatever it takes to save him, traveling to the mythical Kingdom of Las Pozas, where every action has a price, and every choice has consequences. And though it seems her fate is sealed, Clara just might have what it takes to shatter the game and choose a new path.
 
Karla Arenas Valenti weaves an adventure steeped in magic and mythology, exploring the notion of free will in a world where fate holds all the cards.
"A magical, philosophical tale rooted in Mexican lore that will hold readers from beginning to end with its verdant language and setting.” —School Library Journal, starred review

"Fans of Coco will savor this tale." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Both worlds, mortal and magical, are vibrant and gloriously textured, grounded by Sanmar’s simple, inviting grayscale illustrations.” —The Bulletin

“An enchanting story, rich with riddles, fantastic creatures, mythical lands, and guided by the magic of hope.” —Aida Salazar, award-winning author of Land of Cranes

“I clung to every word of Lotería, never wanting this captivating novel to end. Brave Clara will live forever in my heart.” —Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author

“Life and Death’s annual game leaves a girl’s life in the balance as magical realism meets other-world fantasy in this novel set in Oaxaca…Exquisite illustrations greatly enhance the text.” —Kirkus Reviews