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WINNER OF THE 2023 SID FLEISCHMAN HUMOR AWARD
A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
In this thrilling and hilarious middle grade adventure, a young Filipino-American boy must team up with his ancestor to break the curse that’s haunted their family for generations . . . or be trapped in an amulet forever.
Freddie Ruiz is cursed.
While other people may have bad days, Freddie and his family have had bad generations: from bird poop splatting on him during picture day to the many tumbles and trips that earned him the nickname Faceplant Freddie. He’s learned to lay low and keep himself out of trouble—which means no fun, no friends, and definitely no risks.
But when he discovers a family heirloom, a century-old amulet from the Philippines that’s supposed to bring good fortune, Freddie thinks his luck is finally about to change.
He couldn’t be more wrong. Because the spirit of Freddie’s cranky great-granduncle Ramon is trapped in the heirloom, and the evil spirits responsible for his death have returned with a vengeance. Now, Freddie and his cousin, Sharkey, have thirteen days to break the curse, or Freddie will join Ramon for an untimely afterlife in the amulet.
Tracy Badua is a Filipino American author of books full of humor, magic, and young people with sunny hearts in a sometimes stormy world. By day, she is an attorney who works in national policy and programs, and by night, she squeezes in writing, family time, and bites of her secret candy stash. She lives in San Diego, California, with her family and photogenic Maltese.
"A spirited fantasy enriched with Filipino culture and history." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A madcap supernatural adventure infused with Filipino mythology, Badua’s debut highlights one Filipino American family’s experience navigating familial obligation, tradition, culture, and history." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This book has it all—rich folklore, thrilling adventure, and hilarity. You’ll be cheering for Freddie from beginning to end.” — Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medal-winning author of Hello, Universe and Lalani of the Distant Sea
"The perfect combination of laugh-so-hard-you-snort hilarity and get-you-in-the-feels family story that’ll stick with you long after the last page. Come for the suspenseful pacing and cringey comedic episodes, but it’s the authentic and spunky cast of characters who will steal your heart." — Jessica Kim, author of Stand Up, Yumi Chung!
"Equal parts heartwarming and laugh-out-loud-funny, Freddie vs. The Family Curse will have readers breakdancing with delight . . . and checking for toilet paper stuck to their shoes. I loved it!” — Alyssa Colman, author of The Gilded Girl
". . . Full of humor and high stakes . . . Takes readers on an adventuresome ride with likable and funny characters who learn to make their own luck." — Booklist
"Weaving mystery, folklore, history, magic, and intrigue, Freddie’s adventures are a comical, entertaining delight." — Horn Book Magazine