The premise: A young black man named Ivory, who is not from Eatonville, is murdered near Eatonville. Zora thinks she knows what happened and tells her story to anyone willing to listen. Her story is tied to a man she says is half-gator and prowls the near-by marshes, searching for prey. When Zora, Carrie, and their friend Teddy walk into the truth of the murder, however, they discover that truth is more brutal and ugly than the story Zora imagined.
What keeps readers reading: A web of lies that unravels. As Zora, Carrie, and Teddy investigate this murder and try to find the gator man, they encounter life outside their beautiful, safe little town. And what they find is racial divide. A coming-of-age story, Zora and Me melds all things great in middle grade fiction - a solid plot, characters who certainly are characters, and a setting you sit in - all while giving readers a look into who we are and from where we have come.
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Happy middle grade reading!