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STORMWITCH by Susan Vaught

STORMWITCH

By Susan Vaught

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 2005
ISBN: 1-58234-952-5
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Haitian conjuring and American historical fiction boldly weave together weather, magic, religion, and ancestral history. It’s August 1969. Sixteen-year-old Ruba’s been in Pass Christian, a Mississippi coastal town, for three weeks. She moved there to live with her unfamiliar, Christian paternal grandmother because her maternal grandmother who raised her in Haiti has died. In Haiti, Ba taught Ruba how to conjure winds to fight evil Zashar, a stormwitch with an ancient grudge against their ancestors of Dahomey (Benin). With Ba dead, Ruba’s the only warrior woman left. Now Hurricane Camille (possibly the worst storm to make land in American meteorological history) is bearing down, and Ruba knows Zashar’s inside it. Meanwhile, Mississippi is rife with racial violence. With a few friends and family around her—including seven-year-old cousin Gisele, who may be the next warrior woman—Ruba faces Zashar, the hurricane, and the Ku Klux Klan. Gritty details of the civil-rights movement and Dahomey (and world-wide) history of slavery form a powerful story that’s archetypal, magical, and realistic all at once. (historical notes, list of sources) (Fantasy. YA)