Zora and Me

Zora and Me
Zora and Me 1
Published by Candlewick Press
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Winner of the 2011 John Steptoe New Talent Award
Edgar Award Nominee for Best Juvenile Mystery

ABC 2010 New Voices Selection
SIBA 2010 Okra Award Winner
Fall 2010 Indie Next Top Ten Pick
The New York Public Library 2010 list of 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award


The brilliance of this novel is its rendering of African-American child life during the Jim Crow era as a time of wonder and imagination, while also attending to its harsh realities. Absolutely outstanding.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Like Hurston, who celebrated her rich roots but was also a wanderer at heart, this novel of lies and revelations will reach a wide audience, and some strong readers will want to follow up with Hurston’s writings.
—Booklist (starred review)

African American writer’s early years in turn-of-the-last-century Eatonville, Florida, and the sharp, wry vignettes build to a climax, as Carrie and Zora eavesdrop on adults and discover secrets. Family is front and center, but true to Hurston’s work, there is no reverential message: Carrie mourns for her dad, who went to Orlando for work and never came back; Zora’s father is home, but he rejects her for being educated and “acting white,” unlike her favored sister. Racism is part of the story, with occasional use of the n-word in the colloquial narrative. Like Hurston, who celebrated her rich roots but was also a wanderer at heart, this novel of lies and revelations will reach a wide audience, and some strong readers will want to follow up with Hurston’s writings, including Their Eyes Are Watching God (1937). The novel’s back matter includes a short biography of Hurston, an annotated bibliography of her groundbreaking work, and an endorsement by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust.— Hazel Rochman

*Kirkus review:
The childhood of African-American literary giant Zora Neale Hurston is brought to life with this fictionalized account. At the turn of the 20th century, in the all-black town of Eatonville, Fla., Young Zora is considered both a brilliant storyteller and the town liar. Her best friend, Carrie, the "me" of the title, is drawn into Zora’s family and story world after her father leaves for work and never returns home. Zora’s stories about a shape-shifting alligator take on a life of their own when two murders occur around Eatonville. The suspect is a reclusive neighbor, Mr. Pendir, whom Zora is convinced is the “gator man.” Yet the answer is much more prosaic, as the segregated world outside Eatonville encroaches upon their town in the form of traveling man Ivory and the preternaturally beautiful yet mysterious Gold. The brilliance of this novel is its rendering of African-American child life during the Jim Crow era as a time of wonder and imagination, while also attending to its harsh realities. Absolutely outstanding. (Historical fiction. 10-16)

 
$13.32US