Monday, November 2, 2015
MMGM: The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
ABOUT THE BOOK
A spine-tingling tale rooted in Caribbean folklore that will have readers holding their breath as they fly through its pages.
Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They're just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn't belong to a jumbie. Or could they?
When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market the next day, she knows something unexpected is about to happen. And when this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne's house, cooking dinner for Corinne's father, Corinne is sure that danger is in the air. She soon finds out that bewitching her father, Pierre, is only the first step in Severine's plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn't know she possessed to stop Severine and save her island home.
With its able and gutsy heroine, lyrical narration, and inventive twist on the classic Haitian folktale "The Magic Orange Tree," The Jumbies will be a favorite of fans of Breadcrumbs, A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
It's refreshing to read a scary book with a different twist. I thoroughly enjoyed this one what with the gutsy main character, Corinne, and the Caribbean folklore angle was fascinating. It's fun to read a book that I don't feel like I've read before. The friendships Corinne makes, the concept of the jumbies, and the orange trees. Seeing Corinne come into her own while facing off with both the jumbie and the local witch made her an easy character to root for. There are more than enough twists in the story to please young readers and the action starts from the very first chapter. I think we need more books like this one that not only provide an entertaining story but a glimpse into a different culture. The author's note at the end about the origin of the jumbie stories was just as interesting as the story. There's enough creepiness here to satisfy most readers without going over the deep end. A great addition to any collection.