Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

Alicia D. Williams, illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-1913-1
Newbery Honoree Williams crafts distinctive prose evoking Black folktales from the American South in this picture book biography of Zora Neale Hurston, “a girl who was attracted to tales like mosquitos to skin.” In colloquial and figurative language (“She spooned out Eatonville trickster tales to whoever’d sop ’em up”), Williams centers Hurston’s love of storytelling, following her life from her childhood spent listening to tales on a general store porch and her mother’s early encouragement to “jump at de sun,” to being evicted at age 14 by her stepmother, enrolling in high school at age 26, writing during the Harlem Renaissance, and “collect[ing] Negro folklore” around the world. Alcántara matches Williams’s skillful narrative with fluid, atmospheric art that uses speech bubbles to add further dimension. A lively, joyfully rendered portrait of a literary legend. Back matter includes an author’s note, additional reading, and sources. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 12/03/2020
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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