Reading Level: Middle Grade
Size: 240 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. It was a nice story with a lot of Caribbean folklore (something I haven’t really read about before). It was a bit spooky, but not super spooky and fits the middle grade age bracket well. It was one of those books that I thought was okay, but I didn’t find it incredibly engaging. I think kids will probably like it more than adults.
Corinne La Mer lives with her father by a dark forest and grows the sweetest oranges in town. One day she chases an animal into the dark forest and is followed out by a Jumbie. The next day a beautiful woman, Severine, appears at market and ends up spending time with Corinne’s father and bewitching him. Suddenly it is up to Corinne and her friends to stop the evil Jumbies attacking town and defeat the beautiful, yet deadly, Severine.
There is a ton of wonderful Caribbean folklore in here which was something new and interesting to read about. This story is loosely based on the Haitian folktale “The Magic Orange Tree”.
I liked how the characters, who are kids, figure out how to help the village. Additionally I liked how the adults in the story were loving and supportive.
This was a super quick read. I think kids in the middle grade age range will enjoy it. I had a bit of trouble engaging with the story and the writing/story was very easy/straight-forward. The plot is incredibly predictable as well, so I definitely think this is something younger middle grade aged kids (rather than adults) will enjoy.
Overall this was an okay book. It’s a quick read and I did enjoy reading about Caribbean folklore. I had a bit of trouble engaging with the characters and the story was very predictable. However, it is well enough written and has a lot of action in it so I think younger middle grade readers will enjoy it more than older readers.