Ronald L. Smith. Clarion, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-544-44525-3
Smith debuts with a supernatural coming-of-age story set in a 1930s Alabama town. Twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher was born into a magical family, but he has no knack for folk magic himself. His father was "a powerful mojo man" who allegedly met with a "bad end" after placing a curse on a man. One day a stranger comes to collect a debt left by Hoodoo's father, and the boy must learn to access the supernatural to help his father in the afterlife. Hoodoo's distinctive first-person narrative is speckled with lively dialect and atmospheric details of Southern life, from fried catfish dinners and moonshine to "mojo bags" full of cat's-eye stone and rat bone. The action of the novel moves swiftly, and readers should be easily drawn into its dark, supernatural ambience. There's little doubt that Hoodoo will prevail, yet chilling moments throughout will keep readers on edge: "The Stranger smiled, but he didn't have any teeth, just a mouth full of black, oozing swamp water." Ages 10–12. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Wolf Literary Services. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/05/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-544-44527-7
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-544-93561-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5200-3216-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5200-3220-7
Prebound-Glued - 224 pages - 978-0-606-39820-6
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