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In the finale to the acclaimed trilogy, upheaval in Zora Neale Hurston’s family and hometown persuade her to leave childhood behind and find her destiny beyond Eatonville.
For Carrie and her best friend, Zora, Eatonville—America’s first incorporated Black township—has been an idyllic place to live out their childhoods. But when a lynch mob crosses the town’s border to pursue a fugitive and a grave robbery resuscitates the ugly sins of the past, the safe ground beneath them seems to shift. Not only has Zora’s own father—the showboating preacher John Hurston—decided to run against the town’s trusted mayor, but there are other unsettling things afoot, including a heartbreaking family loss, a friend’s sudden illness, and the suggestion of voodoo and zombie-ism in the air, which a curious and grieving Zora becomes all too willing to entertain.
In this fictionalized tale, award-winning author Victoria Bond explores the end of childhood and the bittersweet goodbye to Eatonville by preeminent author Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960). In so doing, she brings to a satisfying conclusion the story begun in the award-winning Zora and Me and its sequel, Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground, sparking inquisitive readers to explore Hurston’s own seminal work.
About the Author
Victoria Bond is the coauthor, with T. R. Simon, of the John Steptoe New Talent Author Award winner Zora and Me. She holds an MFA in creative writing and is a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Victoria Bond lives in New Jersey with her family.
In the third and final volume of Zora and Me, readers are treated to a lustrous look at several facets of the anthropologist, folklorist, and novelist Zora Neale Hurston. . . . I sing the praises of what Victoria Bond has imagined and crafted here, both in deference to my aunt and as a way of honoring Zora’s legacy.
—Lucy Hurston, niece of Zora Neale Hurston
Bond does the real-life storyteller Hurston proud, weaving an absorbing tale of the everyday horrors Black people faced in the South at the turn of the 20th century, even within the bounds of communities such as Eatonville. Both fans of and newcomers to the award-winning Zora and Me series will thoroughly enjoy this thrilling conclusion...A sweet, lyrical, finely crafted mystery and a testament to the deep bonds of friendship.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
In the final installment of the Zora and Me trilogy, readers return to life in Eatonville with 14-year-olds Carrie, Zora, and Teddy...Through lush, descriptive language, readers see the trio wrestle with fear, grief, relationships, changing family dynamics, and of course, racism at the turn of the 20th century. With short chapters, Bond ushers readers through this well-crafted historical novel with hints of mystery. Readers who are unfamiliar with the first two novels in the series will miss some of the allusions to earlier events, though the book could stand alone. However, the full character arcs unfold beautifully over the course of the trilogy, one that has a place in any school library.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
This book handles some big themes in a way that is perfect for a middle grade audience. The era is captured well, and the racism and dangers come to life through Zora and Carrie's story. There is also the theme of the use of Black individuals for medical schools and related experimentation that is presented appropriately - their bodies are taken because they are seen as less than, and there is nothing the people left behind can do about it. It is a horrible but real practice. These themes are all woven together in a story that comes to life for the middle grade audience through the eyes of Carrie and Zora.
—YA Books Central (blog)