Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review: Zora and Me

Zora and Me
By Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon, read by Channie Waites
Published 2010 by Brilliance Audio

I remember hearing about this book when it was first published and then it went on to win the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent Award. I downloaded the audiobook on a whim and before embarking on my holiday vacation, I wanted to listen to something I could finish up in the few days I was working the week we left (I listen during my commute to and from work). This was the perfect choice.

Bond and Simon invite readers to get to know Carrie and her best friend, Zora - Zora Neale Hurston, that is. Zora is a natural born storyteller and her latest concoction of a man with a gator head has Carrie living extra cautiously. And when a man is found murdered, their town is plunged into a mystery and Carrie begins to wonder if Zora wasn't right all along. Hurston's seminal novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, was one of the few books I had to read for school that I really truly enjoyed. So I was eager to see how this novel would imagine her childhood. I didn't know any of her biography before reading, but the authors provide a helpful biographical sketch at the novel's end. I really enjoyed this. It was spooky and mysterious but also dealt with more complex social issues. I think this would be a wonderful book for the classroom or a book club. Additionally, the audiobook was fantastic. I thought Waites was a phenomenal reader. I'm very glad I listened to this! Highly recommended!

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