We loved the Jumbies (an LPB top pick in 2015). Now the jumbies return in an enchanting sequel that can also be read as a standalone adventure: Rise of the Jumbies (Algonquin Young Readers, September 19, ages 8–12).
We will be hosting Tracey Baptiste at two or three area schools, followed by an open house visit for all at the bookshop.
The advanced reviews are outstanding!
Kirkus Reviews (starred review):
Corinne La Mer has settled back into island life after her fight with the jumbie Severine (The Jumbies, 2015), but no sooner does normalcy arrive than it leaves again when an earthquake rocks the island and her friend Laurent goes missing. Other children start to disappear, and Corinne's only clue leads her to the water. With steadfast friends Malik, Bouki, and Dru, she sets out to uncover what mysterious force has taken the children and defeat it. She makes a bargain with the water jumbie Mama D'Leau for help, but even with a supernatural boost, Corinne will need all of her strengths to defeat the mysterious kidnapper and save her friends. Baptiste's colorful, rich Caribbean characters return triumphantly in this sequel, and the mythos of the island continues to expand. Baptiste deepens what could be a light and charming undersea adventure with ties to African religions and the historical legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. As other young children of the African diaspora sort out their feelings about and relationships with slavery, so do Corinne and her loyal friends. While other tales may address it with a casual aside or scrub out the grimiest bits, leaving history in a shiny, tidy package removed from reality, Baptiste allows her characters to find and create ways to grapple with uncomfortable truths. A stirring and mystical tale sure to keep readers thinking past the final page. (Fantasy. 8-12)
School Library Journal (starred review):
This sequel to The Jumbies, a dark fairy tale woven from elements of traditional Caribbean folklore, does not disappoint. Shunned by most of the town on her small island for her recently revealed part-jumbie heritage, Corinne is lonely and yet still wants to help when several children are lost after a tidal wave. After discovering that these are not the first kids to go missing near water, Corinne bravely consults the queen of water for help, Mama D’Leau. Mama D’Leau does not give advice for free, however, so Corinne and her three steadfast friends must retrieve a priceless jewel in payment. They are magically led through the seas by Mama D’Leau’s mermaid daughters to Ghana, where many years ago the daughters were kidnapped by slavers and drowned when the ship went down. Mama D’Leau does not always keep her promises, and Corinne must use all her ingenuity and some of her own jumbie magic to help the missing children. The novelty of the fantasy elements, the complex characters, and the superb world-building combine in a tale well worth reading, both as a sequel and a stand-alone. A stellar recommendation for fans of edgy fantasy such as Aaron Starmer’s The Riverman Trilogy or Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm series, and, of course, fans of the first book.
* * *
About Tracey Baptiste:
Raised in Trinidad until she was a teenager, Tracey Baptiste is a former educator-turned-editor, with positions at McGraw-Hill and Scholastic. She earned a master’s in education at New York University and is on the faculty at Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program.
For schools: http://www.slj.com/2015/04/reviews/books/the-jumbies-by-tracey-baptiste-slj-review/
LPB ARC Club - 5 stars by all 4 readers!