Monday, January 23, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Zora and Me

To find out more about Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, click here.
Title:   Zora and Me
Author: Victoria Bond & TR Simon (link)
Genre: Historical MG
Pub Date: October 2010

Synopsis: Whether she’s telling the truth or stretching it, young Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. Zora’s best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the town of Eatonville, Florida, where justice isn’t merely an exercise in retribution, but a testimony to the power of community, love, and pride. A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.

Who doesn't love a swampy Southern mystery? The magic and storytelling in this book are thicker than honey, but the experience of growing up in the turn-of-the-century South is the foundation that makes the story stick. Carrie's sweet narration carries the reader through some pretty scandalous affairs in a gentle way, making the moments when innocence is lost to knowledge of adult matters palpable to a young audience.

'Gators and Loving Pines: The setting of Eatonville, Florida is one of the most dazzling elements of the story. It takes on the qualities of a complex but dependable character. Kids might not be familiar with some of the animals and plants that weave in and out of the scenes, but those are merely details. They'll easily be transported to the time and place, and enjoy every minute of it.

Why You'll Love Zora: See that mischievous cutie on the cover? The one who looks like she knows something juicy, like that you have a trail of toilet paper attached to your shoe, and is deciding whether she should let you in or wait to see what happens? This fictional Zora doesn't waste an opportunity to experience life at its fullest - whether its taking center stage in the schoolyard with one of her tales, or getting to the bottom of a supernatural mystery.

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  1. Found you through Shannon's site. This sounds like a great book to look into for my 11 year old daughter. Thanks! :O)

  2. I fell in love with this book for the same reasons! This is one is definitely a keeper. :)

  3. Hi Gina. I haven't read this yet, but I do remember adding it to the TBR list when someone else reviewed it last year (don't remember who - was it Barbara?). But I always enjoy reading reviews because each person manages to come up with their own reasons to recommend the book.

    I LOVE books in which the setting becomes a character. Plus it's a mystery and historical fiction to boot. Sounds like a winner.

  4. I've heard so many things about Zora and Me. It's moving up on my to-read list!

  5. When I saw this cover, I thought is was a picture book. I'll take a look at it now. My blog is all middle grade, all the time! Glad that you could join the fun this Monday!

  6. Gina!

    I nominated you for the Kreativ and Inspiring blogger awards -- I did this kind of rebel style, so feel free to do the same. Here's the link to the post!

  7. Loved this book!!