Oct 19, 2010

Tween Tuesday: Zora & Me by Victoria Bond & TR Simon

4 spicy snickerdoodles.

Tween Tuesday is hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen. Check her out!

Cover Love: It's a very intriguing cover. Doesn't it look like Zora has a secret she really wants to share with you? Good stuff!

Why I Wanted to Read This: I got a press release from Candlewick and was very intrigued. I hadn't read any Zora Neale Hurston books so I wasn't familiar with her history. This is a great idea for a book though, giving a little extra childhood story to a pre-eminent author. Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
Whether she’s telling the truth or stretching it, Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. But when boastful Sonny Wrapped loses a wrestling match with an elusive alligator named Ghost — and a man is found murdered by the railroad tracks soon after — young Zora’s tales of a mythical evil creature take on an ominous and far more complicated complexion, jeopardizing the peace and security of an entire town and forcing three children to come to terms with the dual-edged power of pretending. Zora’s best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the Eden-like town of Eatonville, Florida, where justice isn’t merely an exercise in retribution, but a testimony to the power of community, love, and pride. A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.

I Kept Reading Because: To be honest, it took me a good 40 pages to really get into the story, but there was a point where I really got hooked and I couldn't put it down!

Romance?: Nope, but I think Carrie was just starting to realize she had a crush on Teddy.

What I Liked (& Didn't): I loved the setting. The time & the place gave a slightly innocent feel to the story. It made for a good start to a coming of age story--when you start to realize there is so much more to your world than what you see around you.

I also loved the characters. Some of them are mentioned only briefly, but even those leave quite a mark in the main characters life.

I loved the descriptive writing, my favorite being when Carrie was sneaking out of her house and how the authors described her walk in the moonlight.

There were some great lines in this book:
"...I learned from watching her that daddy's girl is a kind of person, but a species. Neither Zora and I belonged to it."

"Of all the Hurston children Zora looked the most like her father, and I think the likeness only fueled his anger. Sometimes there's nothing more aggravating than looking in a mirror."

There is a bit of a mystery that needs solving but it just serves as a stage for Carrie to make some realizations of her life.

I liked to learn a bit about the history of Eatonville, Florida. Race was an issue in this book, but it wasn't the main focus.

I just really enjoyed reading this! All the elements for a great story--character, setting plot. It all works together for a very fun, satisfying read!

To Sum Up:
Enjoyable coming of age story with great characters. Good choice to upper elementary and middle school readers.

Book sent by Tracy at Candlewick. Thanks Tracy!


  1. Thanks, Jana. I love your reviews. :-)

  2. I really want to read this and I am holding myself back a bit from getting it at my library because I have a few others I need to finish! Great review!

  3. I saw this one and thought is looked great in a genre there isn't much of!