This book is nominated for the Cybils. I was going to read it anyway, because of being the sequel to The Jumbies. Also, the awesome cover. Also, Tracey Baptiste was willing to pose with my sock-in-progress at Kidlitcon 2015.
Rise of the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. Algonquin, 2017.
Now that everyone on her island knows that Corinne is part jumbie, life has settled into a new normal, which is that no one wants to buy the oranges she’s selling, even if they are the best. At least she and her friends were able to defeat her evil aunt Severine – or were they? When multiple children go missing near water, Corinne and her friends Dru, Bouki and Malik wonder if Severine could have escaped. But the only being who might be able to help them is Mama D’Leau, a powerful and reliably tricksy water spirit. Her help doesn’t come free – and soon the four children and four of Mama D’Leau’s mermaids (beautiful and brown-skinned, of course) are swimming to West Africa to find a treasure Mama D’Leau mislaid a few hundred years earlier.
I enjoyed The Jumbies and its exploration of the folklore of Trinidad. But this one took that and mixed it in with some comparisons with the traditional religion of West Africa, the legacy of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade on both sides of the ocean, and the ties that bind family and friends together even in the face of major disagreements for a story that added whole new layers of depth, all within a fast-paced adventure. I was hooked. I bet the kids in your life will be, too.
This review reflects my opinion, not that of the Cybils committee.