August 10th, 2019

The Jumbies Book Review

Book: The Jumbies
Author: Tracey Baptiste
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, for sending me a copy of this book.

I was really, really surprised with this one. I can honestly say that I have never read a book that deals with Caribbean mythology and I must say I enjoyed it. I love it whenever I read something different and this was certainly different than books that I normally read. What surprised me even more was the fact that this is a middle grade read. I’ll say it again and again: I really love the direction that middle grade has been going. I really wish that there were books like this whenever I was in middle school.

This book is spooky. I would call it a mix between Small Spaces by Katherine Arden and Mary Downing Hahn with a bit of Percy Jackson thrown in. It’s like Tracey has thrown in all of the middle grade traits into one epic book. This has a little bit of something for everyone. We have strong, well rounded characters, spooky writing, adventure, family bonds, and folklore. What’s not to like about any of that?

The writing isn’t really descriptive by any meanings, but it works for this book. To me, not knowing what was going to happen added a fun element to the book. It’s a spooky story and in these cases less really is more. After all, it’s more fun not knowing what is going to jump out at you in the dark, than knowing. The writing also gets us into the mid-set of us and them. Throughout the book, this theme is played up. However, this changes throughout the book-I can’t go on without spoiling the story.

I really enjoyed the characters. I don’t know hardly anything about Haitian culture, so I don’t know if they were written good enough to fit that lifestyle. I love the bonds that they have with each other and how they grow throughout the book. I love how Tracey exploded the role of family and how important family is.

This book is out now, so if you are looking for something a little different to read, then pick this up.


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