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Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith
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Hoodoo is a story set in the 1930's in Alabama. The book is about a young boy and his family who are all practitioners of hoodoo magic and the boy also happens to be named Hoodoo. The book starts out slow but gives a lot of rich detail and nice word choice to allow the reader to visualize the characters. This book at first seemed to be geared toward an older elementary audience, but as I read further into the story I feel it is more appropriate for upper junior high and above. The story is frightening at times and has death/murder in it and that is why I would recommend it for an older audience. Overall, great descriptive detail and rich language but the story plot was just not my cup of tea. I could see using this book with older students as an example of persistence and courage. ( )
  sunshinedrennon | Feb 20, 2017 |
Hoodoo stars a boy named Hoodoo who, ironically, is the only one in his family who can't do hoodoo. He lives in 1930's Alabama and quickly discovers that a demon is after him because of magic his father did before he died. Hoodoo's grandma, Mama Frances, and best friend, Bunny, are very supportive of him. Hoodoo's voice was the best part of the story for me--it really brought the characters to life. The story touched on many deep ideas (growing up, death of loved ones, the afterlife, family, heaven/hell, etc.) but it didn't explore any of them with any kind of depth. This is what deeps Hoodoo from being a great story for me. It's still a fun/scary read that I would recommend to kids looking for that. It has the historical aspect, which could make it extra recommendable. ( )
  amythelibrarian | Oct 27, 2015 |
Hoodoo’s premise is a fun one with ancient magic, mysterious people, and a young boy that has to save his family from evil. It seemed like a book that I would love, and don’t get me wrong I did enjoy it, but not as much as I thought I would.

Hoodoo is a young boy whose family does Hoodoo (a play in Voodoo, I think) and there is a stranger in town looking for him and he is not sure why. Once he finds out, he learns that it is up to him to dispel evil and the stranger. Hoodoo was likeable enough but I never felt fully connected to him as a character – it felt like he just kept telling me things. For example, many times throughout the story, especially in the beginning he stops the story and says some like ‘BLANK is BLANK, if you didn’t know’. It is great that he is in essence defining things for younger readers but for me this really broke up the story and it kept me feeling detached from him as a character, like I wasn’t experiencing with him but watching from afar… (Hopefully that makes sense).

Overall the plot was a good one, there was just enough action to keep a reader engaged and there was mystery and a few scary bits. I think younger readers will enjoy this book for all its spooky fun. ( )
  sszkutak | Oct 2, 2015 |
Hoodoo is similar to voodoo, in case you didn't know. In this story Hoodoo is also the name of the main character, as well as folk magic. While it's true my attention wasn't grabbed and held on to, I did find this book entertaining and the story fun. It's a fun look into superstition and folk magic, with likeable characters. ( )
  bearlyr | Aug 16, 2015 |
3/5 stars
You can find all my reviews here.
*Disclaimer: I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Set in Alabama during the 1930s, Hoodoo tells the story of twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher, who is born into a family with a rich tradition of practicing folk magic, or Hoodoo, as most people call it. But even though his name is Hoodoo, he can’t seem to cast a simple spell. When a mysterious man called the Stranger shows up in town Hoodoo starts having dreams of a dead man rising from the grave. Even worse, he soon learns the Stranger is looking for a boy. Not just any boy. A boy named Hoodoo.

This book is not an easy one for me to rate, it never seemed to fall in just the middle for me. The first part of the book irritated me to no end and I didn’t really want to continue the story. At some point the story switched to readable and became genuinely enjoyable as I had hoped it’d be. At the most basic it’s an interesting story about a little black boy who lives with his grandmother in a time when they still had to have a separate day for colored people at the fair. In the end I decided to go with just a middle rating of 3 stars. It reminded me quite a bit of the Series of Unfortunate Events Series which to a number of people would be a great thing. To me it reminded me of a story I found a great idea but overall repetitive and aggravating. The biggest problem I had with the Lemony Snicket series was the definitions followed by the same phrases every time. Hoodoo had a habit of defining something followed by if you didn’t know, if you didn’t know. It totaled about 30 times throughout the story. I don’t know why it bugs me so much but it’s not a kind of storytelling I enjoy.

Once the story gets rolling it becomes much more enjoyable and a fun story for kids who like scary stories. It really is an interesting and slightly creepy at times. All in all if you didn’t mind the repetitiveness of Lemony Snicket’s book then this is probably one you would enjoy. ( )
  MarandaNicole | Jul 31, 2015 |
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Winner of the 2016 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

Twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher was born into a family with a rich tradition of practicing folk magic: hoodoo, as most people call it. But even though his name is Hoodoo, he can't seem to cast a simple spell.

When a mysterious man called the Stranger comes to town, Hoodoo starts dreaming of the dead rising from their graves. Even worse, he soon learns the Stranger is looking for a boy. Not just any boy. A boy named Hoodoo. The entire town is at risk from the Stranger's black magic, and only Hoodoo can defeat him. He'll just need to learn how to conjure first.

Set amid the swamps, red soil, and sweltering heat of small town Alabama in the 1930s, Hoodoo is infused with a big dose of creepiness leavened with gentle humor.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544445252, Hardcover)

Twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher was born into a family with a rich tradition of practicing folk magic: hoodoo, as most people call it. But even though his name is Hoodoo, he can't seem to cast a simple spell.  
     When a mysterious man called the Stranger comes to town, Hoodoo starts dreaming of the dead rising from their graves. Even worse, he soon learns the Stranger is looking for a boy. Not just any boy. A boy named Hoodoo. The entire town is at risk from the Stranger's black magic, and only Hoodoo can defeat him. He'll just need to learn how to conjure first.  
     Set amid the swamps, red soil, and sweltering heat of small town Alabama in the 1930s, Hoodoo is infused with a big dose of creepiness leavened with gentle humor.   
 
 

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 08 Jul 2015 10:45:56 -0400)

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