First-time authors Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon vividly imagine the childhood of Zora Neale Hurston. Fourth grader Carrie narrates the events of one pivotal summer with her best friend, Zora, when an encounter with the giant gator Ghost stirs up strange doings in their all-black community of Eatonville, Fla. When Carrie and Zora try to solve the mystery of a traveling “singing man” who turns up dead, they grow up quickly—as they gain exposure to a wider, more divided world outside their town’s borders. “Anthropology and storytelling went hand-in-hand for Zora Neale Hurston in a way that deepened her affection for humanity when it could just as easily have made her a misanthrope,” says executive editor Mary Lee Donovan. “For that reason alone, I think that her story is a story well worth relating to children. And then, behind the scenes there are two writers—best friends working poetry and weaving a portrait in an astonishing, seamless literary marriage.”


Kirkus found quite a few novels with great girl characters to include among our Best Children's Books of 2010. See them all here.

For a complete list of the historical novels that are among Kirkus’ Best of 2010 for children, click here.

Pub info:

Zora and Me

Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon

Candlewick / October / 9780763643003 / $16.99 / ages 9-12