Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis B. Fradin
Publisher: Clarion Books
As a young child, Zora Neale Hurston believed that she was so special. This self-confidence endured throughout Zora’s life, from her childhood days in a small-town making up fantastical stories to her last impoverished year spent in a county welfare home in Fort Pierce, Florida. Though Zora never achieved fame or financial success during her lifetime, she tenaciously held to her passion of writing through family troubles, poverty, and many a rejection notice from publishers. Zora lived out her belief that “nothing is destructible” and indeed, though she died a forgotten woman, her works, including bestseller And Their Eyes Were Watching God, were rediscovered years after her death and brought to fame by a new generation of readers.
Factually and engagingly written, Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis B. Fradin’s work is eloquent enough to appeal to teens and adults while still remaining accessible enough for younger readers. This comprehensive narrative uses anecdotes to reveal the life of the now-famous writer. Zora!: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston is extensively researched and peppered with excerpts from Zora’s letters and journals, original photographs, and direct quotations from Hurston herself. A timeline of her life is included, as are the authors’ source notes. The length of this book makes it a prime choice to use as a read aloud or as a reference for those interested in Zora’s life, the makings of famous writers, or life in the early 1900s in the United States.
*Contians mild violence.