by Eden Royce
Eden Royce's debut novel is a page-turning middle grade horror story set in South Carolina in the 1960s. Beginning with the death of main character, Jezebel's beloved grandmother, readers are introduced to the traditions of the Gullah people and the traditions of root magic. Gran was a rootworker, bringing healing to a community that often could not seek it from segregated hospitals. Jezebel and her twin brother are eager to follow in her footsteps and learn her ways. After an encounter with the local racist police deputy, their mother agrees to allow them to learn from their uncle, beginning with protective spells. The need for protection becomes clear as the story builds in tension and suspense - protection from human forces of evil, like Deputy Collins, as well as from more mysterious forces, such as Jezebel's possibly-haunted doll. This book introduces readers to root magic traditions passed down orally through generations, while treating the topic with reverence and respect. A perfect spine-tingling fall read entwined with history, friendship, and a main character on a journey into her own power.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.