ChupaCarter and the Screaming Sombrero

ChupaCarter and the Screaming Sombrero
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
March 12, 2024
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A cursed Aztec dagger. A five-hundred-year-old witch's riddle. And a . . . screaming sombrero?

These are the ancient artifacts that mysteriously hold the answer to the location of the priceless El Dorado treasure hidden in New Mexico—not far from where Jorge and Carter live. When their friend Ernie's dad is accused of stealing the artifacts, it's a race against time to clear his name. They find help from the unlikeliest—and loudest—source they've ever met: a sombrero that SCREAMS!

Together with brainy Liza, the oddball heroes discover the real culprits are a devilish ring of thieves who are after El Dorado's treasure. The pals lay a cunning trap to make the thieves confess, but they realize too late that they're the ones being trapped . . . and there's no one left to save them!

Editor review

1 review
Trust requires faith in others
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
A chupacabra named Carter is obviously what makes this book different from others. His favorite food is goat so a talking sombrero made from goat hide gets his mouth watering. Other characters are startled or frightened when they first meet Carter due to the large fangs sticking out of his mouth. However, he’s able to control his thirst for blood and he pretends to be a pet dog when in public with his best friend, Jorge. Carter often adds humor to the story as he’s impulsive and usually misunderstands figures of speech. However, he sometimes offers unexpected useful suggestions.
Jorge is the leader of a trio of friends although the other two characters have more useful knowledge. Ernie is an expert on El Dorado (a mythical lost city of gold) and a die-hard superfan of Star Trek. Star Trek doesn’t play a big part in the story but references to it still manage to pop up. Ernie’s father has been obsessed with El Dorado so he’s an easy suspect when artifacts go missing from a famous exhibit. Liza is book-smart and shares facts and information to help the characters navigate the obstacles they encounter. She’s often the voice of reason when Jorge or Carter, or the sombrero, come up with risky ideas. The three characters have been friends since the first book in the series but Jorge and Ernie face a challenge that will eventually reveal the true meanings of trust, friendship, and treasure.
As with the previous two books, the authors infuse Spanish vocabulary and culture into the narrative. Jorge is the main character and he’s living with his Mexican grandparents in New Mexico. Exclamations and short phrases are used to add authenticity to the dialogue and they should be easily understood by young readers. It’s great practice with using context clues and understanding the meanings won’t inhibit following the plot. A la bruja (witch) casts a spell on El Dorado and the kids must locate three ancient artifacts to locate the lost treasure. They’ll need to vamonos quickly to outsmart three unknown thieves and keep Ernie’s father out of jail.
What didn’t work as well:
The identity of the three thieves isn’t revealed until the narrative nears the end and they’re history is very unusual. Their past is unique enough that some readers might want to know more.
The final verdict:
The authors have created an entertaining adventure with unforgettable characters and a good dose of humor. Carter and Enrique, the talking sombrero, make an unusual team that often steals the show. Overall, this a fun, light-hearted story and I recommend you give it a shot.
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