In this compelling sequel to Zora and Me (both stories fictionalize the childhood of literary great Zora Neale Hurston), two best friends unearth a town’s secret. In their covert late night wandering, Zora and 12-year-old narrator Carrie discover that their mute friend Mr. Polk speaks, and, in the process, they extract a promise for a story from purported witch Old Lady Bronson. Set in Florida and told in alternating chapters that switch settings between Carrie and Zora’s 1903 African-American town of Eatonville and an 1855 plantation community in the same location, then called Westin, the parallel tale reveals the plight of Lucia, 11, a black orphan who sails from Europe with her friend Prisca and guardian Don Frederico into brutal enslavement. Lucia’s story exerts the stronger pull in much of the novel, until the two worlds collide powerfully to highlight the “unfinished business of slavery” and reveal why the town is cursed ground. The result is a thought-provoking look at racially motivated violence and the enduring wounds of slavery. An included biography offers insight into Hurston’s life and later work. Ages 10–14. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Assoc.(Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018 Release date: 09/11/2018 Genre: Children's
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