TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Claribel A. Ortega

Claribel A. Ortega on Ghost Squad

In this post, we feature debut author Claribel A. Ortega. You can hear her speak about the inspiration for her first novel Ghost Squad and try her fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


Author Claribel A. Ortega and the cover of her debut novel, Ghost Squad.

Ghost Squad

  • Written by Claribel A. Ortega
  • Published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.
  • Release date: April 7, 2020

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late. Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and warmhearted debut novel.

Chapter One:

Lightning struck, and a brilliant white light bloomed, illuminating the night sky outside Lucely Luna’s bedroom window.

Read a longer excerpt from Ghost Squad.

Explore Ghost Squad

Listen to Claribel A. Ortega talking with TeachingBooks about creating Ghost Squad. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.


Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Claribel A. Ortega.

Imagination Activity with Claribel A. Ortega

Imagine you and your best friend are confronting a monster, and you can each get two magical abilities to fight them with. What would be your powers, and how would you help one another to fight back?


Finish This Sentence . . . with Claribel A. Ortega

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Claribel A. Ortega’s response.

“A surprising thing that helps me work is…”

A surprising thing that helps me work is making a playlist for each of my books!

My protagonist can’t live without…”

My protagonist can’t live without her family!

“You may not know that I can…”

You may not know that I can play video games for days! Here’s my space:

Author Claribel A. Ortega's computer and desk lit up with vivid lighting for video gaming.

More Connections to Claribel A. Ortega and Ghost Squad


Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

All text and images are courtesy of Claribel A. Ortega and Scholastic, Inc. and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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