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The Way to Rio Luna

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic. He knows that pixie dust is real, that wardrobes act as portals, and that rabbit holes lead to Wonderland. Most of all, he believes that his older sister, Pili, is waiting for him somewhere in Rio Luna, the enchanted land in their favorite book of fairy tales.

Danny doesn't care what the adults say. He knows that Pili isn'
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by Scholastic Inc.
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books, 2019
This was my joy book to write.
4 stars

There is just something about magical middle-grade adventures that makes them feel so different from magical YA or adult adventures, which adds to their cozy magical atmosphere. Despite the fact that this is an adventure book wherein our characters face their share of trials and tribulations, the whole book feels like it’s bursting with joy and wonder, and reading it honestly felt like coming home. Which is weird because, for most of this book, the characters are traveling to places that
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this because I really liked the author's YA books, but I didn't care for this one as much. I felt it was kind of sloppy. It needed a better editing job for one thing. Then you had some events and locations that to me just didn't make sense. For instance, the characters go to one South American city and meet a character that looks like, and is king of...a European vegetable? Didn't get the connection between those elements. The other parts made a bit more sense, but I just didn't get the W ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enchanting and magical and wonderful and full of hope. This was exactly the adventure I needed. I highly recommend Danny and Pili’s story and hope there are many more tales for them and Glory!
Ms Threlkeld
Started out really strong, but then lost steam and I didn’t care much about finishing it.
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Read- August 2020 for the N.E.W.Ts (My A in Transfiguration- Animal on the cover)
- I haven't had the best experience with Zoraida Cordova as an author (I've been trying to get through Incendiary for months) so I was a bit nervous going into this book because I didn't know how I would feel about it but I ended up actually enjoying it.

Siblings Danny and Pili have been in the foster care system for years. Always being passed from group home to group home, family to family, group home to family and
Mary Goutermont
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, fantasy
This book is quite an adventure story. The tale follows Danny Monteverde as he tries to find his long lost sister, Pili. Danny has about the worst luck of any young boy you might come across. But luck comes his way and he finds a new friend in a huge library. Glory, his new friend joins with him in his magical journey to find Pili.
Nov 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted more out of this. I picked it up on a whim from the library and when I read the description I thought it would be incredible. It checked all my boxes. Magic, kids, magical book, adventure? YES. But it disappointed me. It felt very surface level? I wanted it to go deeper and be a deeper story. It felt very one dimensional and like it followed a very strict middle grade adventure structure. I’m taking a Fairy Tale & Folktale class right now so maybe that has something to do with it, but i ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an electronic ARC from Scholastic Press through NetGalley.
Fairy tales have a way of being true if you believe in the magic. Danny clung to this through all the foster family placements in the two years since his sister disappeared. He continued to believe in magic and that he would find Pila in Rio Luna. On a field trip to the New York library. he discovers the original copy of the only book he ever owned. Magic arrows lead him there and he meets someone who will become his best frien
This was whimsical and delightful but it lacked something for me to fully love it. Maybe it was the writing, it tries really hard to be a fairy tale and it didn't work for me. Ultimately, I did have a good time but it's not a memorable story, to be honest. ...more
♠ Tabi⁷ ♠
Jul 21, 2020 marked it as to-read
this kid sounds like me at that age, wholeheartedly believing in magic and chasing after any sign or scrap of it
3 1/2 stars

Trigger warnings: previous death of parents (discussed but not shown in book; representation of the foster care system, some negative & some positive; some bullying and violence against children; a child's word is not believed even when they are telling the truth)

I have been reading this off and on for so very long that I am a bit disappointed in myself. This book had many great talking points that make me very happy: worlds within words; a library with magic; travel; talking animals;
Jessica Higgins
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
A fantastic, fun adventure for middle grade readers that will let them travel across the world as they fly through the pages.

Danny Monteverde has always believed in magic and even as he ages, he still believes. The books and stories he read with his sister, Pili, helped show him how amazing pixie dust and rabbit holes can be. Pili disappeared two years ago, and Danny has searched for her. He now believes she is waiting for him in Rio Luna, the enchanted land from their favorite fairy tales. Dann
Despite all odds, eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde is a believer. He and his beloved older sister, Pili, have stuck together through various bad experiences and foster homes, and they have loved getting lost in the magical stories of a book called The Way to Rio Luna. But when they are separated, Pili disappears, and Danny is told that she must have run away. He knows this can't be true, but there are times during the next two years as he bounces through foster care and puts up with cruelty in h ...more
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This new middle grade chapter book is touching, adventurous, and magical. THE WAY TO RIO LUNA by Zoraida Córdova is a quick read with well-developed main characters and a solid amount of world building. Friendships, perseverance, finding support in times of despair, and belief in hope and magic combine to create an adventure that is fantastical but keeps its feet on the ground. Readers who love fairy tales and adventure books (Narnia and Neverland are both referenced) will find themselves immers ...more
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the main characters in this original and fun fantasy. Danny is a wonderful boy with the belief of magic always in his heart. When his sister goes missing he is sure she is in the story book land of Rio Luna. The author writes better in the realistic genre as there were some elements of the fantasy story that had gaps.
Ms. Yingling
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss

This was interesting, but seemed a bit young for my students. It also had some rather unpleasant foster placements, in case you're recommending it to students who might also be in foster care. I liked the connection to a book, and the bond between the siblings.
Alexandra Alessandri
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ls-books
My 12-year-old really enjoyed THE WAY TO RIO LUNA! He's particularly drawn to magic and adventure, and this book didn't disappoint. He read it quickly, and asked immediately if there would be a sequel. ...more
Jennifer Sullivan
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mg-fantasy
3-1/2 stars. This is a fairly typical middle-grade fantasy-adventure story. Lots of magic, boy trying to find his sister, battle of good vs evil, light vs. dark. The ending leaves a lot unfinished, so I'm thinking this will be a series. A solid pick for ages 8-11 who like fantasy-adventure. ...more
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I firmly believe that the book should improve since I lost too much in the story and I reached a point where I did not understand anything, but if it is good it keeps you attentive to the story and everything that happens
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great read-alike for Land of Stories by Colfer.
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: b-b, fantasy, 2020, children-s
It was a pretty gripping story, but there were typos and (without getting into spoilers) some of the character portrayals were troubling.
The Marvelous Ms. Kaia
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book itself was great but their better be a sequel. I loathe authors that leave books on a large cliffhanger as that is just cheating. 12+
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, junior
This is a cute little adventure. I'll probably read book I do expect and hope there is to be a book 2. ...more
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book but I never read it online and btw this was one of my fav book.

Reader of Rio Luna
Adrienne Organa
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the first half, but the second half I lost interest and it was a struggle to get through.
Richard Serrano
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book for all ages
Apr 20, 2021 rated it liked it
We all need fairytales from time to time, and this MG book delivers :)

My review will be up on July 7, 2021 here
Sarah Easley
Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it
This had its charms but could easily have been 50 pages shorter.
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Zoraida Córdova is the author of many fantasy novels for kids and teens, including the award-winning Brooklyn Brujas series, Incendiary, and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: A Crash of Fate. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark, Come on In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Fi ...more

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