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Zora and Me Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
They met Ivory, a wandering turpentine worker who collected sap from pine trees, out by the woods and enjoyed his singing and company. The next day someone found him murdered on the railroad tracks. The friends could make no sense of this killing until Zora, a born storyteller, conjectured that Mr. Pendir, the old man who lived alone by the marshes, was half gator and half man and had attacked Ivory. After all, only a monster could do what was done to Ivory, and the children were not ready to consider what other evil could have caused that terrifying death.
Drawing on some of the writings and experiences of noted author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, this novel offers a tale of friendship, family ties, and race relations in the early 1900s. A series of economics ideas related to class, employment, migration, and discrimination are entwined into the story to motivate the characters and plot. Readers seeking high quality historical fiction will value this engrossing and provocative book.
The authors use Carrie, a fictional best friend of Zora, to narrate the story, which is set in Eatonville, the all-black community in Florida where Zora Neale Hurston grew up, in the year 1900. Zora, even in fourth grade, is famous for her storytelling, or her lying, depending on how you look at it. Or maybe she's just "crazy as a hoot owl," as she is described by one town resident. But when she starts to tell wild stories of their reclusive neighbor Mr. Pendir being half alligator, half man, her classmate Stella has had enough.
"You are too lying," Stella snapped. "You the lyingest girl in town! You are so lying, even when you tell the truth, it comes out a lie!"
But no one cares, since "we all knew that nobody could tell a story better than Zora." In fact the authors give us many clues that Zora is no ordinary child. Carrie tells us that Zora "had a way of giving personality to everything in Eatonville. Flowers alongside the road weren't just flowers. One day they were royal guards saluting us on our walks home...that's how Zora saw things.Read more ›
The story is told by Carrie, a childhood friend of Zora's. According to Carrie, Zora began her storytelling career as a child and used her talent to fascinate and entertain everyone, both children and adults. Always ready with a tale, Zora's favorites usually seemed to involve the folklore of the area.
Her main tale described in the book focuses on a creature half-gator/half-man thought to stalk victims in the marshes and swamps. When a headless dead man is discovered along the railroad tracks, Zora's imagination soars. She creates a tale combining this recent discovery with other unexplained events that is sure to raise the hairs on many an arm. Young and old in her tiny community are drawn into her story, and everyone fears for their safety.
Readers and fans of the adult Zora Neale Hurston will be captivated by this imaginative portrayal of the young Hurston. It doesn't take much of a leap to believe that this little storyteller could grow to be an award-winning author. Bond and Simon are to be applauded for their efforts.
Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
Susan Austin, author of The Bamboo Garden
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is just and FYI as I didn't read this but I am from Orlando and read some of ZNH'S work in college. So I got this for my son who is in 4th grade. Read morePublished 11 months ago by An Honest Review
My granddaughter who is 10 years old loved it. I would definitely recommend it.Published 21 months ago by Valerie H
The authors did a great job encompassing the famous writer Zora Neale Hurston's spirit into the story.Published on August 1, 2014 by Dawn Summers
I enjoyed reading this book because of the poetic quality that was much like that of Zora. It does not equal the folky elequence of "Their Eyes Were Watching God", but a... Read morePublished on May 9, 2014 by Muki
This book satisfies that hunger for all things Zora. A fantastic foray into the ways our "pressures" really do mold us. Couldn't put it down!Published on April 29, 2014 by Nora Queryous
That book rocked! Very touching and very interesting!!!!! I had many notes and many wonders while reading this book. Very much recommended!!Published on March 3, 2014 by R. Rickert
I am in Battle of the Books and this is one of my expert books. It is a great book. Get it.Published on February 8, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This book is amazing. I recommend this book to many book lovers and to people with a big imagination and a wide range of curiosity.Published on December 19, 2013 by Little Fairy
The book was kinda confusing but very interesting also keep switching characters along the book. I recommend this book for people who understand books a lotPublished on November 18, 2013 by Lauren