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Voodu Dawgz by Jess Mowry
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Voodu Dawgz (2007)

by Jess Mowry

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This review was written by the author.
In Voodu Dawgz by Jess Mowry, it is said that "evil always lingers in a land where men have enslaved other men." This evil is discovered by Kodi Carver, a 14-year-old African-American boy from Cleveland, Ohio, who spends his summers in the Old French Quarter of New Orleans. There with Raney Douglas, his alligator-wrestling, bayou cousin, he helps his magical Aunt Simone with Voodu ceremonies for tourists in his aunt's haunted house. By day, Kodi and Raney cruise the hot steamy streets of the Old French Quarter, where other kids sell Voodoo charms and vampire teeth, or dance for money. By night, Kodi and Raney become Voodoo boys in loincloths and bones. The audience thinks it's all showtime, but a lot of the magic is real. Kodi is his aunt's apprentice, but he doesn't always do his magic homework or study his Voodoo lessons, which sometimes gets him in trouble. On the earthly level, Kodi's father believes that his son is safer in New Orleans than in the violent neighborhoods of Cleveland. But Kodi is almost capped on his aunt's doorstep by an eight-year-old banger named Newton, who was sent out to kill to prove himself worthy of membership in a gang called The Skeleton Crew. Kodi and Raney capture Newton. For awhile they don't trust him and chain him to a bed with an ancient slave collar. But then Newton sees that gang-banging is stupid. Then, Kodi and his posse of Voodu Dawgz, including a young street dancer, a girl who works in an ice-cream shop, and a mysterious Vampire-boy, have to fight a ghost and real bullets to save themselves, as well as the thugs who are trying to kill them.
This is a fast-paced and exciting book that combines ghosts and magic with real world problems of innercity kids. The characters are real kids like you'd meet on the street. Besides fighting ghosts (not all ghosts are bad) they have all the usual problems of being young teens, like meeting girls and making money. There is also a lot of history in this book and you learn a lot without even knowing you did. The descriptions of the Old French Quarter make you see what it's like there, and you learn things like why oven tombs are called oven tombs, why people aren't buried underground in New Orleans, and why Marie Laveau still gets mail even though she's been dead for 200 years.

Rowfy ( )
  JessMowry | Aug 15, 2007 |
In Voodu Dawgz by Jess Mowry, it is said that "evil always lingers in a land where men have enslaved other men." This evil is discovered by Kodi Carver, a 14-year-old African-American boy from Cleveland, Ohio, who spends his summers in the Old French Quarter of New Orleans. There with Raney Douglas, his alligator-wrestling, bayou cousin, he helps his magical Aunt Simone with Voodu ceremonies for tourists in his aunt's haunted house. By day, Kodi and Raney cruise the hot steamy streets of the Old French Quarter, where other kids sell Voodoo charms and vampire teeth, or dance for money. By night, Kodi and Raney become Voodoo boys in loincloths and bones. The audience thinks it's all showtime, but a lot of the magic is real. Kodi is his aunt's apprentice, but he doesn't always do his magic homework or study his Voodoo lessons, which sometimes gets him in trouble. On the earthly level, Kodi's father believes that his son is safer in New Orleans than in the violent neighborhoods of Cleveland. But Kodi is almost capped on his aunt's doorstep by an eight-year-old banger named Newton, who was sent out to kill to prove himself worthy of membership in a gang called The Skeleton Crew. Kodi and Raney capture Newton. For awhile they don't trust him and chain him to a bed with an ancient slave collar. But then Newton sees that gang-banging is stupid. Then, Kodi and his posse of Voodu Dawgz, including a young street dancer, a girl who works in an ice-cream shop, and a mysterious Vampire-boy, have to fight a ghost and real bullets to save themselves, as well as the thugs who are trying to kill them.
This is a fast-paced and exciting book that combines ghosts and magic with real world problems of innercity kids. The characters are real kids like you'd meet on the street. Besides fighting ghosts (not all ghosts are bad) they have all the usual problems of being young teens, like meeting girls and making money. There is also a lot of history in this book and you learn a lot without even knowing you did. The descriptions of the Old French Quarter make you see what it's like there, and you learn things like why oven tombs are called oven tombs, why people aren't buried underground in New Orleans, and why Marie Laveau still gets mail even though she's been dead for 200 years. ( )
  rowfy | Aug 13, 2007 |
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For Lee, Tonka, Rowfy and Shawn... the real Voodu Dawgz
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The little kid sneezed before pulling the trigger.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Evil always lingers in a land where men have enslaved other men. Such evil is discovered by Kodi Carver, a fourteen-year-old African-American boy from Cleveland, Ohio who spends his summers in the Old French Quarter of New Orleans. There, with the help of Raney Douglas, his alligator-wrestling, bayou cousin, he assists his magical Aunt Simone with Voodu ceremonies for tourists in the courtyard of his aunt's haunted house. By day, Kodi and Raney roam the steamy streets of the Quarter, where other kids sell Voodu charms and vampire teeth, or dance and sweat for money. By night, Kodi and Raney become Voodu-boys in loincloths and bones. The audience thinks it's all showtime, though much of the magic is on the real. Kodi himself is his aunt's apprentice, though he often doesn't do his homework or carefully study his Voodu lessons, which sometimes gets him in trouble. He once called up a zombie with very nasty results! On the earthly level, Kodi's father believes that his son is safer in New Orleans than the violent neighborhoods of Cleveland. Ironically, Kodi is almost gunned-down on his aunt's doorstep by an eight-year-old banger named Newton, who was sent out to kill to prove himself worthy of membership in a youth gang called The Skeleton Crew. Kodi and Raney capture the little hitman and eventually discover that the real power behind the Skeleton Crew is the hateful ghost of a slave-trader whose bones lie in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. In order to save the gang members from self-destruction, death -- or worse -- and free them from their long-dead master, Kodi and his own gang of Voodu Dawgz, including a young street dancer, a girl who sells ice-cream, and a pale, mysterious Vampire-boy, must fight the ghost on his own turf... the storm-lashed midnight graveyard.
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