The Jumbies

By Tracey Baptiste,

Book cover of The Jumbies

Book description

Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They're just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Jumbies as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This middle-grade horror novel follows Corinne, a courageous girl who isn’t afraid to go into the forest she’s been warned about, but when she does, something evil follows her back out.

The jumbies of Caribbean folklore are malevolent tricksters, and there is one image from this book that I will never, ever get out of my head. I’m not going to tell you what it is! But it’s toward the end and has to do with the douens and backward feet. It’s a great spooky read, but I really love how the heart of the story is rooted in loss,…

From Stephanie's list on where the magic and monsters are real.

This middle-grade novel sets Caribbean monsters called jumbies against young humans.

The jumbies are delightfully sneaky and selfish tricksters who want their island back. I love how the children in the book face scary situations with courage and teamwork. A gripping action-adventure story about battling our demons and discovering who we are.

The Jumbies tells the story of a young girl on an adventure to stop a witch and save her village—fairly standard fairy-tale fare. What’s fantastic and unique about this book is how it takes the magic, wonder, and mystery of Caribbean folktales as its inspiration to transport readers (or this reader, at least) to somewhere new and refreshing. Baptiste imagines this spooky world full of monsters that are both fascinating and fearsome and then manages to elevate it all even further to ponder questions of family, friendship, freedom, and colonialism, all the while still providing the kind of nail-biting moments…

From John's list on to spook middle-grade readers.

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