THE JUMBIES by Tracey Baptiste is a beautifully written retelling of a classic Haitian folktale.
Corinne grows up hearing tales of jumbos who live in the forest near her home. While some of her islander friends think these creatures are imaginary, others believe they are real and lurk in the woods waiting to steal children. When a mysterious woman arrives in the village, Corinne wonders if she is more dangerous than she appears.
The lyrical narrative and elements of mystery will attract middle-grade readers. Boys and girls alike will be drawn to the smart, strong heroine and her friends.
The author’s note provides insights into the history of this Caribbean jumbie tale.
With library shelves overflowing with retellings of Grimm and other European tales, librarians will welcome this inventive Haitian folktale. The short novel will appeal to middle-grades students who enjoy both folktales and monster stories. Pair it with other global folktales for an engaging literature circle. Or, include it in a display of monster myths from Sasquatch to Bigfoot.
To learn more about the author, go to https://traceybaptiste.wordpress.com/.
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on April 28, 2015.