Zora and Me by Victoria Bond

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Racial duplicity threatens an idyllic African American community in the turn-of-the-century South in a dazzling debut inspired by the early life of Zora Neale Hurston. 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.

About Victoria Bond

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Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon met ten years ago while working together in publishing and became fast friends. After kicking around the idea of a collaboration for years, the idea of writing a middle-grade novel about Zora Neale Hurston emerged, and both knew they had stumbled into the project of their dreams. Excited and humbled by the opportunity to expose young readers to a seminal figure in twentieth-century American letters, they discovered that Zora's life as both field anthropologist and writer custom fit their own backgrounds. T. R. (Tanya) Simon has an MA in anthropology, while Victoria Bond holds an MFA in creative writing.
Published October 26, 2010 by Candlewick. 190 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Zora and Me

Kirkus Reviews

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The childhood of African-American literary giant Zora Neale Hurston is brought to life with this fictionalized account.

Sep 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Zora and Me

The New York Times

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They traded revised drafts and researched Hurston’s life by reading her work, biographies and her 1942 autobiography, “Dust Tracks on a Road.” Their book includes a timeline of Hurston’s life and a bibliography of the children’s folk tales collected by Hurston that have been adapted by various au...

Nov 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Zora and Me

The Washington Post

There's a new girl sleuth in town: a fourth-grader named Zora Neale Hurston.

Dec 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Zora and Me

Chicago Tribune

Readers know that Zora grows up to be a famous writer, but in fourth grade, she's known as a stretcher of the truth, someone who spins a web of story around gossip about gators or grown-ups.

Oct 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Zora and Me

Shelf Awareness

This exquisite novel tells of a pivotal time, just at the start of fourth grade, and how the events of that summer and early fall forever change narrator Carrie Brown and her best friend, the young Zora Neale Hurston.

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