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Extended Audio Sample Zora and Me Audiobook, by Victoria Bond Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (451 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Victoria Bond, T. R. Simon Narrator: Channie Waites Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Zora and Me Series Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781441889621
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When a young man’s body is found by the railroad tracks, the murder and its mysterious circumstances threaten the peace and security of a small Florida town. Zora believes she knows who killed Ivory, and she isn’t afraid to tell anyone who’ll listen.

Whether Zora is telling the truth or stretching it, she’s a riveting storyteller. Her latest tale is especially mesmerizing because it is so chillingly believable: a murderous shape-shifting gator-man—half man, half gator—prowls the marshes nearby, aching to satisfy his hunger for souls and beautiful voices. And Ivory’s voice? When Ivory sang, his voice was as warm as honey and twice as sweet.

Zora enlists her best friends, Carrie and Teddy, to help prove her theory. In their search for the truth, they stumble unwittingly into an ugly web of envy and lies, deceit and betrayal. Just as unexpectedly, the three friends become the key that unlocks the mystery and the unlikely saviors of Eatonville itself.

Best friend Carrie narrates this coming-of-age story set in the hometown of American author Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960). Drawing on Hurston’s stories, novels, and life, debut novelists Victoria Bond and T. ?R. ?Simon create an utterly convincing echo of a literary giant in this, the only project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not written by Hurston herself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Debut authors Bond and Simon do their subject proud, spinning a tale about the childhood of writer Zora Neale Hurston.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The childhood of African-American literary giant Zora Neale Hurston is brought to life with this fictionalized account… The brilliance of this novel is its rendering of African-American child life during the Jim Crow era as a time of wonder and imagination, while also attending to its harsh realities. Absolutely outstanding.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Move over Nancy Drew. There’s a new girl sleuth in town…This mystery not only thrills and chills but vibrantly evokes a small Southern town in the early twentieth century.”

    Washington Post

  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Children's Book 2010
  • A 2011 Audie Award Finalist
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Selected for the Autumn 2010 Kids' Indie Next List: Top 10
  • A 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Juvenile Ficiton

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kellie | 2/10/2014

    " After a slow-ish start, I enjoyed this book. It was a good little murder mystery and a nice vacation read. I am not sure what age group it is aimed at, but alothough the main characters are 10 I think the vocabulary and plot would be hard for my fourth grader to follow (she is an average reader). Also, the murder is pretty gruesome and there is some racist profanity and intense race-related violence, so it would be good to at least pre-read this book if you have concerns. Even better if you can read it together. I plan to shelve it and maybe pick it up again in a year or two as a mother-daughter book club selection when my daughter has matured a little. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 2/2/2014

    " This was a cute little book - so short it was almost a short story- fictional account of the childhood of Zora Neale Hurston who wrote Thier eyes were watching God. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/13/2014

    " Zora and Me reminded of some of the books that the McKissacks have written (specifically The Dark Thirty and Porch Lies). The author is a great story-teller and I was really into the especially when young Zora started weaving her tales. Not sure that I loved the ending, but I was rushing to finish as I loved the beginning so much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista the Krazy Kataloguer | 12/24/2013

    " Outstanding! Based on the childhood of folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, it's a story about a sheltered girl (Zora) living in the mostly black town of Eatonville, Florida, who discovers one summer, to her dismay, that, in the world outside of her town, the color of your skin makes a difference, and that secrets can be dangerous. I loved everything about this story--the authentic dialogue, the setting, the childlike outlooks of Carrie and Zora, and their gradual awakening to the reality of the adult world around them. That summer marked the end of their innocence and the beginning of becoming adults for Carrie, Zora, and their friend Teddy. Bond's descriptions of Eatonville and the children's innocent pastimes made me wish I was there enjoying their fun. The book left me wanting not only to read more about Eatonville and Zora's life but also to read some of her writings, particularly her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. This book won the 2011 John Steptoe Award (part of the Coretta Scott King Awards) for new talent, and Victoria Bond surely has that. I can't wait to read another book by her, and I highly recommend this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha | 12/23/2013

    " Pictures the "story" of Zora Neale Hurston's childhood... giving basis for her strong spirit and storytelling. I think adults will appreciate this more than kids, though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Libriar | 12/19/2013

    " Very confused about who the audience is for this book. I see why adults who like Hurston would like this book but I really don't see children liking this book without some adult help. The only way I see this book reaching the intended audience is if a classroom teacher used it as a read-aloud. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helen | 11/7/2013

    " I liked this William Allen White nominee more than I thought I would. It's really a murder mystery about who killed singer Ivory and who he was, but it also tells the story of Zora Neal Hurston growing up in Eatonville. I'm not sure kids will like all the philosophizing at the end though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brenda Kahn | 9/27/2013

    " Atmospheric and lovely language, but who is the audience? Cover skews too young for the heaviness of the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hazel | 8/29/2013

    " This was a really short, quick little book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had me hooked pretty much right away. It is super cute and I would recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 7/15/2013

    " Good book; some of topic (light skin blacks passing for white)seems more adult or young adult or might simply be dated. I don't know if elementary age kids understand the concept of passing. I hope kids who read this engage in conversation will an adult who might be able to expand on it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry | 6/16/2013

    " This may be a bit young for some of my students in terms of interest level but it is a beautifully written book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can highly recommend it, particularly if you love Zora Neale Hurston and the history of Eatonville. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Traci Kenworth | 4/11/2012

    " Cute story. Was fun to read about the real-life adventures of Carrie, Teddy, and Zora. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yapha | 10/14/2011

    " An interesting look at Zora Neale Hurston's childhood in Eatonville, Florida, an all African-American town. It made me want to read some of the books she wrote! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donalyn | 9/23/2011

    " Vibrant descriptions, folktales, and the turn-of-the-century South, set the stage for this fictionalized story based on Zora Neale Hurston's childhood. An honest portrayal of race relations in the post-Civil War era. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 5/10/2011

    " Good book; some of topic (light skin blacks passing for white)seems more adult or young adult or might simply be dated. I don't know if elementary age kids understand the concept of passing. I hope kids who read this engage in conversation will an adult who might be able to expand on it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 5/10/2011

    " I have no idea who the audience is for this book, but there are passages I could definitely savor over and over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 5/1/2011

    " I'm sorry to say I have not yet read any Zora Neal Hurston. I know she is an important figure, but wonder about the premise of an biographical novel of an author who wrote mainly for adults. The crocodile lore might appeal to kids. The writing is lovely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 4/27/2011

    " Zora's an unapologetic fabulist. In the hands of lesser authors, this could have been cloying and overwrought. In this book, the young Zora Neale Hurston is an engaging character throughout. The book also had a Southern gothic flavor to it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alissa | 4/17/2011

    " Not as good as I hoped it would be...but still beautifully written and a successful nod to her writting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Traci | 4/14/2011

    " Cute story. Was fun to read about the real-life adventures of Carrie, Teddy, and Zora. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 3/30/2011

    " Naima and I read this together, outloud. Great YA, fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kat | 3/17/2011

    " This book is set in the old south. I lived near Eatonville, so I was excited to read this book. This is an excellent story with action and suspense. It is authentic historical fiction, therefore the "N" word is used. Shocking to the senses. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 3/12/2011

    " listened to CD. Charming, well written, gives you a wonderful picture of Zora as a girl, that imagination and sense of place that she carried forward in her writing. A great gift for a 9-14 year old girl, but an easy read for adults too who want to enjoy that insight into an author's early life. "

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About the Author
Author Victoria Bond

Victoria Bond is the coauthor of the popular Zora and Me children’s series. She lectures on classics and composition at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.

About the Narrator

Channie Waites is an actress and narrator. Her reading of Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon’s book, Zora and Me earned her a 2010 Best Voice Award in children and family listening from AudioFile magazine. She has received a total of four AudioFile Earphones Awards.