Smith, Ronald Hoodoo, 208 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Clarion) 2015. $16.99. Language: PG (4 swears, 0 Fs) Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG13.
12-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher wishes he could live up to his name. Lots of people in his community can conjure and curse, but Hoodoo had tried, and it never seems to amount to anything. He is a bullied, orphaned boy who lives with his grandmother in the deep south of the 1930s. One day, Hoodoo visits the county fair and a fortune teller gives him this advice: “Search for the black crow, he will help you. Beware the stranger.” Hoodoo’s people are in danger, and it’s up to him to change their fate. The stranger is in league with the devil and very dangerous, but Hoodoo is determined to learn to use the powers that are his birthright.
This is an amazing debut novel. Action packed, creepy and exciting, the first person narrative allows the story to unfold to the reader at the same time as it happens to Hoodoo. Scary without being graphic, this is a perfect middle school read.
MS - ADVISABLE Lisa Librarian