The Jumbies

 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1099 0
The Jumbies
Age Range
9+
Release Date
April 28, 2015
ISBN
9781616204143
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Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. She knows that jumbies aren’t real; they’re just creatures parents make up to frighten their children. But on All Hallows’ Eve, Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden woods. Those shining yellow eyes that follow her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they? Corinne begins to notice odd occurrences after that night. First she spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market. Then this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, cooking dinner for her father. Danger is in the air. Sure enough, bewitching Corinne’s father is the first step in Severine’s plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and ancient magic to stop Severine and to save her island home.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

unique adventure with some horror aspects
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
THE JUMBIES is a unique, imaginative, and engrossing middle grade novel. Corinne lives with her father and sells her oranges in the market. Her oranges are the best tasting on the whole island. She lost her mother at a young age, but she still has a necklace her mother left her and the knowledge her mother gave her about gardening. When some boys steal her necklace and send it into the woods, Corinne goes in to get it. Although the people fear the woods because they may contain jumbies, Corinne believes jumbies are not real and is not afraid.

However, her trip into the woods brings a dangerous jumbie out. When the jumbie poses as a beautiful woman and keeps showing up at Corinne's house, Corinne gets a bad feeling. As the danger grows and her father falls under the jumbie's spell, Corinne must stop her before it is too late.

Accompanied by her friends, Dru, Malik, and Bouki, Corinne learns a lot about her island, the creatures surrounding it, and the bravery she holds inside her.

Corrine is a fully developed and courageous main character. She is fantastic for the middle grade audience who will cheer for her all the way through. However, this book is not for the faint of heart, as there are some definite horror elements (such as when the little boy turns into a douen), so I would not recommend reading at nighttime (it is certainly not scary at the adult level). The creatures come to life on the pages of the book, bringing a whole set of fairytale/folktale beings to readers.

Regardless, this is a highly unique and engaging adventure story with an incredible heroine that will appeal to the middle grade audience. Recommend for children who can stand a little scary along with overcoming the odds, standing up for what you believe in, and working with friends to save the day!
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Scary adventure in Trinidad
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Corinne is happy living with her father in a house very close to the woods on an island near Haiti. She misses her mother, but sells oranges in the market and has some good friends. When the evil Severine shows up, things start getting very strange. Not only does Severine put Corinne's father under a spell, she tells Corinne that her mother was Severine's sister, which makes Corinne half Jumbie. Some Jumbies are nice, but Severine and many of the other magical creatures claim that the isaland was theirs first, and they want it back. There is a white witch who befriends Corinne and her friends, Dru, Malik and Bouki, but if she helps them, she will also have to help the creatures on the other side of the battle. Corinne has a necklace from her mother that holds the answer to this problem, but can the people of the island accept living alongside the Jumbies and their kind?
Good Points
It's nice to see fantasy books that aren't based on Celtic mythology. There are so many of those already, and yet almost every fantasy book that comes out gives a nod to some sort of medieval British story line. The notes on Haitian mythology in the back of the book are very helpful, and this was a great look into the superstitions and beliefs in a place that isn't usually covered.

Readers who like Mary Downing Hahn, Dan Poblocki or series like Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark or Scholastic's Midnight library will find The Jumbies to be a well paced book with engaging characters... some of which just might sneak up on them in the dark!
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