The Summoner

Candlewick. (Zora and Me: Bk. 3). Oct. 2020. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763642990.
Gr 5 Up–In the final installment of the "Zora and Me" trilogy, readers return to life in Eatonville with 14-year-olds Carrie, Zora, and Teddy. A few years older, we find the trouble that always seems to follow this fictionalized version of acclaimed author Zora Neale Hurston has grown, too. When a white vigilante group sweeps through idyllic Eatonville, the first incorporated all-Black city in the United States, they leave the town reverberating with the shock of a man lynched within their borders. As with the other entries in this series, Zora’s mind begins to spin a web of stories to explain the seemingly inexplicable events around her. Who is summoning the dead in Eatonville, and why? 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.
VERDICT 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.

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