Hoodoo

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Ronald L. Smith’s debut middle grades novel Hoodoo takes the reader to the shadows of Depression-era, small-town Alabama, through the eyes of twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher. Hoodoo comes from folk that have the magick, but he can’t seem to conjure yet. An orphan raised by his grandmother, Mama Frances, Hoodoo is surrounded by family. But it is his dead father whose past casts darkness on the Hatchers.

Part ghost story, part historical fiction, this classic Southern Gothic tale introduces young readers to hoodoo, or traditional African American folk magic, as well as the segregated South. Haunted by dreams and screams he hears in the night, Hoodoo goes to the “colored-people” days at the county fair with his friend Bunny; there he has his fortune told. Following events that fit the fortune, Hoodoo seeks out Mrs. Snuff, the fortune teller, and finds her grimoire. The plot then quickly moves into the spiritual realm where Hoodoo battles a shade brought on by his father’s death. Hoodoo’s voice provides an engaging narrator, and the tale is sufficiently frightening for the young adolescent audience without being too scary. There is real loss and real love in this story, and a bit of a thrill.


Reviewed By:

Author Ronald L. Smith
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Clarion Books
Publish Date 2015-Sep-01
ISBN 9780544445253
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2016
Category Tweens
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