Rise of the Jumbies
written by Tracey Baptiste
2017 (Algonquin Young Readers)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
The sand shivered. Corinne felt a tremor go straight through her body. The girls on the beach stopped mid-action. But her papa and the other fisherman in their boats were still far out on the water, their nets dragging in the sea.
Corinne La Mer was having a good day swimming and battling two brothers for a prized pink seashell. But then everything goes quiet as she watches from the shore. She feels the ground shake. Suddenly, voices scream to tell everyone to get out of the water. The trio make it safely to their house, but a neighbor friend goes missing. Soon, other children are missing as well. All eyes on Corinne. Even though she had defeated an evil jumbie months earlier, she is half-jumbie and suspicions rise. Corinne knows she must go back to the sea to find the missing children. That's going to mean finding the ultra formidable Mama D'Leau who governs the sea. At what cost will it be to bargain with Mama? And what about the jumbie that Corinne thought she had conquered? Is Severine still out there and waiting for revenge?
What are the odds that a young reader will like a fantasy with a determined and courageous heroine who fights to keep her and other families together? Oh, did I mention there are fascinating villains here as well as a beautiful Caribbean setting? And magic? Rise of the Jumbies is a terrific read with rich characters and a gripping story. This would be an excellent choice for a unit on characters or a fantasy unit. Students will be begging you to read more if you choose it for a read aloud. Rise of the Jumbies is a jewel that readers will treasure.