Picking Up the Ghost
Overview - Living in St. Jude, a 110-year-old dying city on the edge of the Mississippi, is tough. But when a letter informs fourteen-year-old Cinque Williams of the passing of the father he never met, he is faced with an incomplete past and an uncertain future. Read more...
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More About Picking Up the Ghost by Tone Milazzo
Living in St. Jude, a 110-year-old dying city on the edge of the Mississippi, is tough. But when a letter informs fourteen-year-old Cinque Williams of the passing of the father he never met, he is faced with an incomplete past and an uncertain future. A curse meant for his father condemns Cinque to a slow death even as it opens his eyes to the strange otherworld around him. With help from the ghost Willy T, an enigmatic White Woman named Iku, an African Loa, and a devious shape-shifter, Cinque gathers the tools to confront the ghost of his dead father. But he will learn that sometimes too much knowledge can be dangerous -- and the people he trusts most are those poised to betray him!
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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African magic and folklore color this unusual coming-of-age story. The night after learning of the death of the father he never knew, 14-year-old Cinque Williams is visited in dreams by an eerie wire hand that snatches away his heart. This proves just the first of a cascade of weird experiences for the boy as he sneaks his way to Chicago to pick up his father's effects. Along the way he encounters monsters, ghosts, shape-shifters, and a Sin Catcher, who hopes to burden Cinque with his father's sins. Aided by a shamanic African pastor who visits him in dreams, Cinque overcomes these and other fantastic challenges to accept his heritage and forge a mature identity. Though its events seem chaotic and random in spots, this debut entertains with an original approach and mix of breezy humor and dark fantasy. (Sept.)