Raw Head, Bloody Bones

Mary E. Lyons, Author Atheneum Books $15 (96p) ISBN 978-0-684-19333-5
These 15 African American tales, divided into four spooky sounding sections--``Gullah Goblins,'' ``Ghosts,'' ``Monsters'' and ``Superhumans''--derive their bewitching quality from the rhythms of the spoken word and the dancelike quality of early African American speech. In ``Dead Aaron,'' a corpse that stubbornly refuses to stay dead dances around with ``hestet yellow teeth a-snappin, and he bald bonehead a-wagglin.'' The stories are intended as moral lessons: in ``Bloody Bones,'' for example, the wielder of a gossiping tongue is beheaded. Lively, lilting cadences provide a quixotic contrast to the often gruesome subject matter; thorough introductions present cultural insight into the origins of what to most readers will be an entirely new genre in fiction. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 88 pages - 978-0-689-80306-2
Prebound-Sewn - 88 pages - 978-0-606-08057-6
Prebound-Other - 978-0-7857-8353-4
Hardcover - 88 pages - 978-0-06-941933-3
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