Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. She knows that jumbies aren’t real; they’re just creatures parents make up to frighten their children. But on All Hallows’ Eve, Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden woods. Those shining yellow eyes that follow her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?
Corinne begins to notice odd occurrences after that night. First she spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market. Then this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, cooking dinner for her father. Danger is in the air. Sure enough, bewitching Corinne’s father is the first step in Severine’s plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and ancient magic to stop Severine and to save her island home.
Wow. This book was everything i wished i had to read as a kid. I grew up hearing these stories from my grandpa. About douens and soucouyants and the la diablesse. My grandpa swore he saw a soucouyant one time. You’d hear ppl say if you woke up with an unknown mark about your body, no idea how it came there, a soucouyant probably visited! *stares hard at weird bruises on leg*
I haven’t read middle grade in ages, but when i learned The Jumbies existed i knew i had to have it! A book about our folklore, written by a trini? Needless to say, my trini heart is full. so very full. I knew from the moment i read that first paragraph that i was going to love this!
Cut to me squealing over words like: agouti, lappe, pomerac, poui, kiskidee, and all the talk of the jumbies. things i know, things i relate to as a trini.
I was riveted from the get go! The story begins with Corinne chasing an agouti into the forest. Right away I was hooked. Me: an agouti! I’ve eaten that lol. Something to note, we trinis love wild meat. We will curry/stew anything basically 😉 So immediately i was drawn in because of the familiar.
Ms. Baptiste has woven an excellent, heart pounding, fast paced tale here! All the characters were so intriguing. I loved Corinne, her bravery, her eventually coming to learn the jumbies are real eep! And well learn more about who she really is too! The brothers, Malik and Bouki. Every interaction with them was entertaining and hilarious. Dru! I loved the friendships that grew. The conflicts! The coming back together at the end.
There was an all out jumbie battle people. ! Me, while reading: holyyyy hell ruuuun allyuh ruuuuun. lol. I was that into everything that was going on.
I’m really excited for book 2, luckily a kind person sent me the ARC so i have it 🙂
i bought the paperback of The Jumbies specifically so i can pass it on to my nephew. He’s not old enough to read it yet, but he loves to read yayyy (my bookworm heart is pleased) but someday. I want him to know these stories. Even if he’s scared by them or merely intrigued. At least he’ll know our tales and hopefully love them 🙂
I just want to say this is why own voices is so damn important. A trini writer telling a tale with trini folklore incorporated that me, a trini can read and go yesssss this! The feel of this was so very Caribbean, and i loved it!
And i will end here before i just gush some more and say read the damn book already. And here’s a handy link for you to buy it