|Jump at the sun : the true life tale of unstoppable storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston|
Author: Williams, Alicia
Zora's mama always told her that if she wanted something, "to jump at de sun," because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you'd get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the port of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn't been bothered to listen to until Zora.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 511912
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/20)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/01/21)
The Hornbook (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2021 K-Gr 3—This vibrant portrait of the early life and career of Black American writer Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960) is sure to inspire young readers. Newbery Honor–winning author Williams follows Hurston from her childhood in Florida through her success as a writer in New York, emphasizing her efforts to reach each milestone in her career. Hurston is characterized as tenacious, and she overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles to pursue her dream. Alcántara's luminous illustrations will immediately engage readers, with saturated colors and captivating use of shadow and light. The narrative showcases a strong sense of setting. Readers can envision a lush Floridian landscape during Hurston's younger years, and later, the energy and promise of the Harlem Renaissance. Williams's lively prose employs dialect and a conversational style; it begs to be read aloud. The tone is a fitting tribute to Hurston's writing style and her work in researching and preserving African American folktales. This title is more of an inspirational story of grit and determination than a resource for school reports, but an author's note provides additional details about Hurston's life and work and includes further resources. VERDICT A welcome addition to any picture book biography collection; Williams deftly underscores the value of perseverance and education while highlighting the achievements of an influential Black female author.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Lib., CA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2021 Williams recounts the life of author-anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston with an emphasis on her activities as a storyteller. From an early age Hurston enjoyed listening to and retelling stories she heard from neighbors and friends. Her mother counseled her never to settle for the status quo but instead to jump at de sun, advice Zora always heeded. She went to great lengths to become educated, including once lying about her age (26) in order to attend free public high school. Williams employs southern dialect and vivid descriptions throughout, helping readers to imagine the story's various settings (Florida, Baltimore, and Harlem) and she avoids mention of the controversies that surrounded Hurston. The text is straightforward, with sidebar speech bubbles used to add detail. Alcantara's digitally enhanced marker-and-gouache illustrations employ brilliant colors (some neon) and fanciful touches throughout (for example, vegetables and other objects perform Hurston's stories). She also pays homage to Hurston's penchant for hats, although it goes unmentioned in the text. Upbeat and age appropriate, this makes a fine introduction to this talented woman. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.