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Written by Ronald L. Smith

Hoodoo is a fun book about a twelve-year old boy named Hoodoo. It takes place in a time when people believed in voodoo or hoodoo magic; a time when black people struggled to live and make a living; a scary time when good and evil fought against each other, innocence was rare, and good people sometimes did evil deeds.
Hoodoo has lost his parents and lives with his grandma, Mama Frances. Family is key to this story as both the living and the dead take care of Hoodoo. Hoodoo must solve the mystery of why the evil stranger wants to take his left arm. He finds out he is heir to magic of his own and uses this to help him solve the mystery.
The author manages to put a little bit of everything in this book: Hoodoo finds a girl friend that tries to help him, battles with bullies, has scary nightmares, leaves his body to go into the spirit world,fights to find out who he really is and who is dad really was, and loses his grandmother to the evil stranger. Finally, he must use his powers to save everyone from the evil stranger.
This book was given the Coretta Scott King award. It deals with some sensitive times and issues. Fifth and Sixth graders who like scary books would do okay. I liked the book.

Review by Burt Needles, Orchard Elementary Library
Rating: ★★★½✩ (3.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-6

Written by Ronald L. Smith
HMH Books for Young Readers
x pages
Release Date: 2015, 2017 (Paperback)

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