Alebrijes - Flight to a New Haven

Donna Barba Higuera

Age 10 +
03 October 2023
416 pages


The incredible new novel from Newbery Medal winning author Donna Barba Higuera.

This is the story as it was told to me by Leandro the Mighty.

For 400 years, Earth has been a barren wasteland. The few humans that survive scrape together an existence in the cruel city of Pocatel - or go it alone in the wilderness beyond, filled with wandering spirits and wyrms. They don't last long.

Thirteen-year-old pickpocket Leandro and his sister Gabi do what they can to forge a life in Pocatel. The city does not take kindly to Cascabel like them - the descendants of those who worked the San Joaquin Valley for generations.

When Gabi is caught stealing precious fruit from the Pocatelan elite, Leandro takes the fall. But his exile proves more than he ever could have imagined - far from a simple banishment, his consciousness is placed inside an ancient drone and left to fend on its own. But beyond the walls of Pocatel lie other alebrijes like Leandro who seek for a better world - as well as mutant monsters, wasteland pirates, a hidden oasis, and the truth.

A thought-provoking and beautifully written novel, creating a whole new imaginative world that holds a mirror to our own.

Praise for The Last Storyteller: 'Truly a beautiful cuento' New York Times
Subtle worldbuilding, flesh-and-bone protagonists, and magnetic writing make this . . . an instant classic. With measured pacing and layered character development, Higuera's latest is a masterly exploration of how corruption is an indelible part of every oppressive society. It's also a celebration; there will always be a beacon of hope in dark times, fueled by stories and community.
The story examines how people can build better societies from the ashes of unequal, oppressive, and corrupt ones. Strong worldbuilding uses the familiar and the fantastic to prod readers to consider the story's parallels to real-world injustices and the ethics of power, storytelling, and greed.This heartfelt adventure signals hope for humanity, even in the aftermath of darkness.
Steeped in folkloric ambience and employing delicate character work, this stellar speculative narrative explores themes of identity across circumstance, centering an adolescent without structural power working to protect family and community.