by Ronald L. Smith
Winner of the John Steptoe New Talent Award
A 2016 CCBC Choice
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.
North American publisher: Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2015
Foreign rights contact: Lynne Polvino, Clarion
Film/TV rights contact: Allison Devereux, Wolf Literary Services
A haunting tail from the Alabama woods.”—The Washington Post
Hoodoo’s first-person narrative, which flows beautifully, has an appealing natural cadence … Through his protagonist, Smith demonstrates an eye for detail and a knack for evocative imagery as well as for telling a riveting story with a dollop of southern gothic appeal.”—Booklist
The chilling supernatural Southern Gothic plot action is enhanced by atmospheric description of rural life in Depression-era Alabama…Readers will particularly enjoy Hoodoo’s authentic and engaging narrative voice…Reminiscent of the adult horror fiction of the late Manly Wade Wellman, this debut novel will appeal to thoughtful middle grade fans of the supernatural.”—School Library Journal
Filled with folk and religious symbols, this creepy Southern Gothic ghost story is steeped in time and place. Hoodoo’s earnest first-person narrative reveals a believable innocent who can “cause deeds great and powerful.”—The Horn Book
Smith’s debut is an engaging, creepy mystery that doesn’t shy away from the harshness of its Jim Crow setting but that doesn’t dwell on it either … The authenticity of Hoodoo’s voice and this distinctive mashup of genres make Smith one to watch. Seekers of the scary and ‘something different’ need look no further.”—Kirkus Reviews
What a splendid novel. Reader, be prepared to have your foundations shaken: this is a world that is deeper, more wondrous, more spiritually charged than you may have ever imagined.”—Gary D. Schmidt, National Book Award finalist and author of the Newbery and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
I loved this book. Told by a narrator you won’t soon forget, it is filled with myth and legend, danger and bravery. Hoodoo is pure folk magic, if you didn’t know.”—Keith Donohue, New York Times bestselling author of The Stolen Child and The Boy Who Drew Monsters
Oh, wow! Hoodoo may just be the perfect book for a rainy day. Find a dog that will sit with you . . . and read on ’til your heart’s content. What a fun discovery!”—Nikki Giovanni, poet