Kids who really keep up with their world mythology and modern books about it will be delighted with these 10 short stories, while others may be a bit confused or underwhelmed. With the first story, "Calamity Juice," by Carlos Hernandez, we dive right in with puking unicorns, multiverses, and a host of characters from Sal and Gabi Break the Universe. If you're new to Sal and Gabi's many worlds, this is a dense introduction to it that may not appeal. This story has an extra payoff, though, when the flying unicorn makes some funny cameos in other stories in the collection.
One of the stand-out tales, "The Gum Baby Files," is by Kwame Mbalia, who writes the popular Tristan Strong series. Even if the main character who throws sap everywhere is a bit baffling to those new to the series, the trip to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is well worth it. In Tehlor Kay Mejia's "Bruto and the Freaky Flower," even if readers don't know a thing about the Paola Santiago series, they will feel for Paola when she's desperate to save her supernatural dog and will get wrapped up in the exciting quest. Rick Riordan fans won't be disappointed with his new, rather violent take on Celtic mythology in his story "My Life As an Outlaw." In 2020 he added a master's degree in Gaelic literature to his accolades, and it shows. Readers go back to Ireland in the time of warring clans and roving bands of tradespeople, storytellers, and murderers. This story is the easiest to get wrapped up in because we're meeting a young, vengeful boy named Demne for the first time, and hopefully not the last.