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Root Magic
by Eden Royce




Overview -

"A poignant, necessary entry into the children's literary canon, Root Magic brings to life the history and culture of Gullah people while highlighting the timeless plight of Black Americans. Add in a fun, magical adventure and you get everything I want in a book "--Justina Ireland, New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation

Debut author Eden Royce arrives with a wondrous story of love, bravery, friendship, and family, filled to the brim with magic great and small.

It's 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won't stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven-- and their uncle, Doc, tells them he's going to train them in rootwork.

Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of their family for generations--especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family's true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs...and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it's going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.

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More About Root Magic by Eden Royce

 
 
 

Overview

"A poignant, necessary entry into the children's literary canon, Root Magic brings to life the history and culture of Gullah people while highlighting the timeless plight of Black Americans. Add in a fun, magical adventure and you get everything I want in a book "--Justina Ireland, New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation

Debut author Eden Royce arrives with a wondrous story of love, bravery, friendship, and family, filled to the brim with magic great and small.

It's 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won't stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven-- and their uncle, Doc, tells them he's going to train them in rootwork.

Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of their family for generations--especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family's true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs...and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it's going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.


 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062899576
  • ISBN-10: 0062899570
  • Publisher: Walden Pond Press
  • Publish Date: January 2021
  • Page Count: 352
  • Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.92 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Root Magic

Though debut author Eden Royce currently lives in the United Kingdom, it’s clear she is still deeply rooted in the culture of the Gullah nation to which she belongs. Royce’s previous short stories were informed by the traditions of these descendants of enslaved people living along the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas, and her first middle grade novel is also set in this evocative milieu.

Root Magic finds the South, as well as its main characters, twins Jezebel and Jay, on the verge of some big changes. Their beloved grandmother has just died, and they’re about to turn 11. Their grandmother was a practitioner of what’s known as root magic, a rich and complex set of spells and charms passed down through generations, and it’s the twins’ turn to begin learning from their uncle Doc the knowledge that has been such a source of strength for their family.

Recently, however, root magic has also been a source of stress. An increasingly aggressive police officer has been cracking down on its practitioners, and the new girls at school mock Jezebel for her family’s practices. What’s more, Jezebel and Jay are in different grades for the first time, and Jezebel fears they’re starting to grow apart. And then there are the mysterious voices she hears calling her by the river . . .

Royce’s storytelling is atmospheric and more than a little spooky, filled with haints and boo-hags, protection charms and curses. But the novel is also set during a specific historical period—the fall of 1963—and so these supernatural elements play out against an equally vivid backdrop of real historical events, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, police intimidation tactics and the integration of Charleston schools.

Root Magic successfully blends mystical elements with historical ones for a novel that explores Gullah culture as well as the social upheavals of the 1960s. Readers who are easily frightened might want to read with the lights on—but if they do, they’ll discover a thoughtful story about a family taking on all obstacles, seen and unseen, together.

 

BAM Customer Reviews