Are you ready for the next Rick Riordan Presents novel? Tehlor Kay Mejia’s new book inspired by the legend of La Llorona from Mexican folklore, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, is almost available for us to dive into. Although we personally wouldn’t recommend diving into rivers, much less rivers of tears, so maybe that’s not the perfect metaphor here. How about we dip a toe in with the first two chapters of this exciting new adventure?
It was 118 degrees in Silver Springs, Arizona, and the Gila River was thick with algae. But Paola was careful to keep that observation to herself. The last time she’d mentioned algae in front of her best friend Dante, he’d shoved a gummy worm up her nose.
Algae was green and slimy. It stuck to your feet when you stepped into the wrong part of the swimming hole. It smelled awful. It made the river look weird and alien when the water got too low. But when processed and extracted and purified, an acre of it could create ten thousand gallons of usable biofuel.
And wasn’t that awesome enough to make up for its general ickiness?
Aware of Dante and her other best friend, Emma, sitting on the picnic blanket on either side of her, Pao didn’t speak aloud the wonders of algae. Sometimes she thought there were still granules of sour sugar from that gummy worm slowly making their way to her brain through her nasal cavity. There was a lot of candy spread out before them today, and Pao didn’t want to find out what other varieties would feel like in her nostrils.
Shuddering, she kept her daydreams private for now.