Zora and Me: The Summoner by Victoria Bond

 Zora and Me: The Summoner by Victoria Bond, Candlewick Press, 9780763642990, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Historical Fiction

What did you like about the book? The third book in the series (could be read as a stand-alone, but the other books are amazing), this series explores the childhood of Zora Neale Hurston and her childhood in Eatonville, FL during Jim Crow. Eatonville was one of the first all-black self governing towns in the U.S. The book is told from the point of view of Carrie, Zora’s best friend. While, the other two books dealt with very upsetting things (slavery, death, murder), the reader was still given a glimpse of the childhood joy of Zora, Carrie, and their other best friend, Teddy. In the third book, the trio grows up quickly. The safety of the town is breached, and fear and illness consume the characters. It is a very difficult, but important read. It is an age appropriate view of systemic racism, life during Jim Crow laws, and slavery. The characters of the town are lush and rich, you could almost have a conversation with them. The writing is lyrical and reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston’s own writing. There is a short biography of Zora Neale Hurston, and timeline of her life and publications.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? Children who enjoy historical fiction, teachers, parents. Just the information about Eatonville could be a lesson all its own and it is brought to life in these books. Zora is brought to life in these books!

Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle schools, public libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Absolutely! All three books!!!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Lindsey Hughes, Marstons Mills Public Library, Marstons Mills, MA

 Date of review: 1/26/2021

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