'Ballad & Dagger' Book Club Readalong Day 2!

By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @taylortakesphotos

Welcome back to the second day of our book club readalong for OwlCrate's May book, Ballad & Dagger!

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 5-10 of Ballad & Dagger, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.

Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box! Don't forget, you can also post about the readalong on Instagram with the hashtag #OCBalladandDagger for another chance to win!

The story continues...

Chapter 5:
Tams and Mateo walk back to his apartment and he tells her everything that happened that night. Tams has a spirit connection as well, but Mateo had never shown any interest in discussing it. Now though, he has to, and in two nights there is a bembe at Tams’ place, and he has to come.

Back at the apartment Tía Lucia is back and no worse for wear, but when they start talking, bright colors cloud Mateo’s vision.

Chapter 6:
Mateo awakes, Tía Lucia helping him cleanse himself from the night’s endeavors. She explains that she thinks Anisette is bluffing about raising the island, but in the case that she isn’t Mateo needs to get information, find out what is happening, and his new status as an awakened child of Galinka should give him access to that. Tía Lucia also thinks that Chela knows something, and if not Chela, then Tolo, soon to be rep of the pirates. She tells him to trust no one.

Part Two

Chapter 7:
Tams and Mateo go to school the next morning, where Tams believes that Mateo has a crush on Chela, murderer or not. Mateo, fed up, yells that he does not in fact have a crush on Chela, which the whole class hears. His gym teacher so kindly pairs Chela and Mateo up together.

Chapter 8:
Chela and Mateo complete the obstacle course together, and she tells him that she is one of the other initiated children, and to meet her at the Betahayim cemetery that night. They see an odd large form behind them, but before he can get a proper look Chela pushes him off a platform.

Chapter 9:
The class is dismissed and Tams, Maza and Maybelline help Mateo off the floor, further discussing his love life. Before they can follow the rest of the class out though the lights go out and Muertos appear. But these Muertos aren’t like the normal ones, they don’t seem human, and when trying to confront them doesn’t work the four of them run. Outside the twins reveal that Anisette is having a “redo” of the previous night that evening, conceding to pass on power after the outrage. The twins leave Tams and Mateo, and just outside the schoolyard fence they see Gerval, waving right in their direction.

Chapter 10:
Gerval calls Mateo over and as he starts walking away Mateo realizes he wants him to follow. He wants them to play music together. Gerval brings them to a park where there is a musical set up in the amphitheater and together they play, Mateo recording the amazing session. As the crowd dissipates, Gerval reminds him that his aunt is right to warn him not to trust people, and that he’s been reading up on some of San Madrigal’s secret past, but he can’t discuss it. He also tells Mateo that they need Chela on their side, and Mateo must convince her to come talk to him.


  1. What sort of secret history do you think Gerval has discovered?
  2. Why do you think Chela wants Mateo to meet her in the cemetery?
  3. What/who do you think the shadow creatures are?
  4. Why do you think Chela wouldn't want to speak with Gerval?

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