Chupacarter (Chupacarter #1)

by George Lopez (Author) Santy Gutierrez (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: Chupacarter

With his signature laugh-out-loud humor, world-famous comedian George Lopez launches a fantastical middle grade series inspired by his own colorful childhood and Latinx folklore.

In this illustrated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Jorge is lonely and resentful after being sent to live with his grandparents. His first day at his new school doesn't go well after catching the attention of his belligerent principal and the school bullies, so Jorge might be a little desperate for a friend. But the only kid who shares his interest in junk food and games turns out to be a young chupacabra--a legendary monster whose kind is known for being bloodthirsty livestock killers. The truth is, Carter is anything but savage--he's kind, a good listener, and has great taste in sneakers. Being friends with a mythical creature should be amazing, but when local cattle turn up dead and his principal suspects the truth, Jorge is torn. Should he trust that his friend is innocent and protect him from exposure, or reveal his dangerous existence and change the world forever?

Kirkus Reviews

A narrative punctuated with wisecracks and flavored with Spanish phrases and slang...Frights and fun in equal measure.

Publishers Weekly

After getting into trouble one too many times, sarcastic ("Your smart mouth just bought you a one-way ticket to detention," his previous principal used to say) Chicano Jorge Lopez, 12, is sent to live with his abuelos in a "dusty, deserted, desert-y armpit of a town in the middle of Nowheresville, New Mexico." He doesn't love anything about his new life, especially not his "snooty-falooty private school" or his white, bombastic, hunting-enthusiast principal, until he befriends woods-dwelling chupacabra Carter, a blood-drinking humanoid creature. Carter has been hiding from mortal hunters and folkloric vampire dogs after being separated from his family, and Jorge promises to keep him safe. But as the hunters close in on the duo, Jorge enlists two of his classmates--Star Trek fan Ernie, who is Native American, and Black, vegan, "uber smart" Liza--to get Carter to safety. Gutierrez's (The Garden Plot) lively b&w illustrations expertly render Jorge and Carter's occasionally over-the-top, adrenaline-filled adventures. Actor/comedian Lopez and Calejo (the Charlie Hernández series) offer a rollicking tale brimming with Latinx folklore and culture about finding one's home in the unlikeliest of places that never takes itself too seriously. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Chupacarter is an uproariously good time, full of humor, heart, and unexpected friendships." —Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Valentina Salazar Is Not a Monster Hunter 

George Lopez
George Lopez's multi-faceted career encompasses television, film, standup comedy, and late-night programming. He co-created, wrote, produced, and starred in his own hit sitcom George Lopez, a groundbreaking show that was one of the few with a Hispanic star. Lopez can be seen most recently in his Netflix original comedy special, We'll Do It for Half. His autobiography Why You Crying? was a New York Times bestseller. ChupaCarter is his first book for children.

Visit him online at

Ryan Calejo is an award-winning author born and raised in south Florida. His critically acclaimed Charlie Hernández series has been featured in half a dozen state reading lists, and is a two-time gold medal winner of the Florida Book Awards.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @RyanCalejo.

Santy Gutiérrez grew up in Vigo and now lives in Corunna (La Coruña), both seaside cities in Spain. In his career, he has won acclaim as the Best Spanish Young Editorial Cartoonist and Best Galician Caricaturist, and he founded the BAOBAB Studio Artists' Collective. His wife and son are his personal inspirations.

Follow him on Instagram @SantyGutierrez_Art.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication date
August 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV002270 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical
JUV011030 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Hispanic & Latino
JUV012070 - Juvenile Fiction | Legends, Myths, Fables | Caribbean & Latin American
Library of Congress categories

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