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Hoodoo by [Smith, Ronald L.]
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Hoodoo Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Length: 229 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 10 - 12 Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5–7—"When I got born, Mama Frances took one look at me and said, 'That child is marked. He got hoodoo in him.' That's how I got my name." But, for all that his dead daddy was known as a powerful mojo man, at age 12, Hoodoo Hatcher is the only one of his family who can't do any kind of conjuring or even cast a simple spell. Mama Frances assures him that his time will come, but Hoodoo worries that his grandmamma is just trying to make him feel better. Then the Stranger comes to town—dark-cloaked, red-eyed, and cold—and fearful things begin to happen: swarms of flies, screams in the distance, and corpses in the graveyard dug up with all their hands chopped off. "I saw your daddy, boy. He owes me a debt and I come to collect…. Mandagore. The Hand That Did The Deed," says the Stranger. Hoodoo discovers an old folk magic spell book, and learns what the demonic visitor is seeking—not "Mandagore" after all but "Main de Gloire." The Stranger wants the secret of the Hand of Glory, left hand of a man hanged for murder, with which an evil magician can call and control the dead. When Mama Frances at last tells Hoodoo the tale of his father's terrible death, the boy realizes that it is his father's hand that the Stranger wants. Worse yet, the old curse is reaching out to Hoodoo himself as he notices that his own left hand is growing unaccountably strong. For the first time, he experiences the tempting thrill of occult power—and knows that the Stranger wants his soul as well as his father's. But can Hoodoo find the strength—and the courage—to defy the Devil himself? The chilling supernatural Southern Gothic plot action is enhanced by atmospheric description of rural life in Depression-era Alabama. There are dark hints of racial tensions and the hardships of poverty, balanced by strong family and faith relationships. Readers will particularly enjoy Hoodoo's authentic and engaging narrative voice. The author takes some liberties with historical details and with the obscure but very real folk magic texts that Hoodoo uses, although few readers in the intended audience will be aware of it. VERDICT Reminiscent of the adult horror fiction of the late Manly Wade Wellman, this debut novel will appeal to thoughtful middle grade fans of the supernatural.—Elaine E. Knight, formerly at Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL

Review

"The horror element is just as vividly drawn, with the terrifying Stranger rivaling Barraclough’s Long Lankinin his creepiness. The straightforward plot makes this accessible to younger readers, and the atmospheric setting will certainly leave them with a chill."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The action of the novel moves swiftly, and readers should be easily drawn into its dark, supernatural ambience."
—Publishers Weekly

“What a splendid novel. Reader, be prepared to have your foundations shaken: this is a world that is deeper, more wondrous, more spiritually charged than you may have ever imagined.”
—Gary D. Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor medalist and author of The Wednesday Wars
 
“Oh, wow! Hoodoo may just be the perfect book for a rainy day. Find a dog that will sit with you . . . and read on to your heart’s content. What a fun discovery!”
—Nikki Giovanni, poet and award-winning author of Rosa

“I loved this book. Told by a narrator you won’t soon forget, it is filled with myth and legend, danger and bravery. Hoodoo is pure folk magic, if you didn’t know.”
 —Keith Donohue,New York Times best-selling author of The Stolen Child

"The authenticity of Hoodoo's voice and this distinctive mashup of genres make Smith one to watch. Seekers of the scary and "something different" need look no further."
—Kirkus

"The chilling supernatural Southern Gothic plot action is enhanced by atmospheric description of rural life in Depression-era Alabama...Readers will particularly enjoy Hoodoo's authentic and engaging narrative voice."
School Library Journal

"Hoodoo's first-person narrative, which flows beautifully, has an appealing and natural cadence...Through his protagonist, Smith demonstrates an eye for detail and a knack for evocative imagery as well as for telling a riveting story with a dollop of southern gothic appeal."
—Booklist

"Filled with folk and religious symbols, this creepy Southern Gothic ghost story is steeped in time and place. Hoodoo's earnest first-person narrative reveals a believable innocent who can 'cause deeds great and powerful.'"
—Horn Book Magazine

Product details

  • File Size: 15376 KB
  • Print Length: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2015
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00QPIM5PY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,150 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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