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Kid Konnection: Zora and Me

October 23, 2010

Zora, Carrie and Teddy are best friends in Eatonville, Florida and the three of them are enjoying the summer between third and fourth grade.  Zora has a vivid imagination and claims that Mr. Pendir is half man and half alligator – she says she knows because she’s seen him with an alligator head.    When a man is found murdered in their community, Zora immediately assumes it was Mr. Pendir.  The three friends decide to investigate and make a shocking discovery that could tear their community apart.  They decide to go to a trusted adult to help them decide what they should do.

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon is a fictional account of one summer of Zora Neale Hurston’s childhood.  It’s a fabulous coming of age story that shows the beauty of imagination in children.   This magical story that will enthrall the reader from the very beginning of the book.  Even though it’s intended for the middle grade reader, I found it simply charming.

I’ve been interested in Zora Neal Hurston ever since we lived in Auburn, Alabama.  Even though Hurston claimed Eatonville, Florida as her home, she was actually born in Notasulga, Alabama which is very close to Auburn.  Believe me when I say that Notasulga is proud of Hurston!  I love that Zora and Me includes a biography, a timeline of the author’s life and a bibliography, because this book is sure to spark an interest in the young reader!

Challenges: Okra Picks Challenge

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Candlewick Press.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
21 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2010 6:16 am

    Wow, I’m too excited to read your review. I really wanted to read this one about Zora Neale Hurston. I hope you enjoyed it. She was a great lady and author.

  2. October 23, 2010 6:33 am

    I had to read the review. Love it. It’s a mystery involving Zora and two other children. I like how you talked about imaginative children. I have always thought Zora Neale Hurston was from Florida. Had no idea the real place was Alabama.

    I made the mistake of mentioning on one site that one of her books was hard for me to read. I DIDN’T mean I disliked Zora Neale Hurston. I most definitely love her. She is part of my African American Heritage.

    I have learned and am learning that words on the computer can become overlooked, exaggerated and/or misunderstood not out of cruelty just out of the fact that we, humans, are flawed. I think the next generation, our children and grandchildren, will have overcome a lot of the hairy situations we deal with now on the computer.

    Well, sorry for talking too much. Loved your review. Thanks for remembering what Zora Neale Hurston might have been like as a little girl. I always have the hope my granddaughter will become another African American woman will will achieve her best for all of us on planet Earth. Your review is great.

  3. October 23, 2010 9:24 am

    This is certainly worth investigating and adding to my school collection!!

  4. October 23, 2010 10:11 am

    i seldom read MG books but this one sounds cute and engaging.glad you enjoyed it =)

  5. October 23, 2010 11:32 am

    This sounds like just the sort of book I would have enjoyed as a younger person and one I can still enjoy now!

  6. October 23, 2010 11:53 am

    I saw this on the Okra Picks Challenge and I wondered about it. I’m not a big reader of YA books but have gotten into it a bit these last few months and this does sound very good. Plus, who doesn’t love a good mystery?

  7. October 23, 2010 11:58 am

    Oh… I didn’t know this is a biography. It certainly sounds good. I was contemplating on picking it up for your Okra Challenge, but decided on the other titles…

  8. October 23, 2010 12:10 pm

    This is next on my list for Okra. Yes Eatonville is like Noraland down here. They have a festival every year in her honor, and of course her books tend to refer to the area as well.

    Speaking of Okra, I am having a horrible time getting going on Carry the Rock. I’m about to give up…

  9. October 23, 2010 12:37 pm

    I’m sure I would have loved this one in my younger years.

  10. October 23, 2010 12:39 pm

    That cover scares me in a way…scary scary grin

  11. October 23, 2010 4:26 pm

    This does sound charming, Kathy. Children have wonderful imaginations that may create or believe in a being such as a half man and half alligator!

  12. October 23, 2010 5:28 pm

    Another great book at add to my daughter’s bookshelf. And the fact that it’s a biography would interest my daughter even more. Thanks for this review.

  13. October 23, 2010 6:24 pm

    I read your review with perfect timing: this book just arrived a few minutes ago. I can’t wait to dig in. Great review.

  14. October 23, 2010 7:42 pm

    This sounds great!

  15. October 23, 2010 7:44 pm

    This does sound wonderful. I plan on reading it for the Okra Picks Challenge.

  16. October 23, 2010 7:56 pm

    What a neat introduction to a beloved author.

  17. October 24, 2010 9:35 am

    Mix up children, imagination and murder… voila you get a very lucrative plot that will take you beyond your wildest dreams.

    Going to note this one down for TBR.

    Another great review Kathy, keep writing coz you got it!

  18. October 24, 2010 6:13 pm

    I just finished a book where Zora Neale Hurston played a part, and it’s inspired me to try some of her writing, so seeing this review was a lucky coincidence! I am glad to hear that you liked this one and might see about looking into it. I am finding that there is a lot about YA that intrigues me!

  19. October 24, 2010 8:02 pm

    I thought about this one, but the cover is just a bit unsettling!

  20. October 25, 2010 1:28 pm

    I bet this is one The Girl and I would both enjoy. Thanks for the review!

  21. October 25, 2010 11:28 pm

    It may be one to add to my children’s library…. sounds very good.

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