Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree

by William Miller, Cornelius Van Wright, and Ying-Hwa Hu

A picture-book account of the childhood of African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston... read more

A picture-book account of the childhood of African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston focuses on the influence of her mother, who told Zora all the world belonged to her, contrary to the messages she got from her father and society at large. When her mother died, young Zora, who liked climbing trees, wearing pants, and listening to old men spin their stories at the town store or around a night-time camp fire, promised herself that she would live up to her mother's expectations. Miller has chosen small, significant details to give a sense of Zora's intellect and personality through his spare account of her childhood. Somber pencil and watercolor paintings provide the perfect match for the text and depict Zora as a strong, active girl, even when she appears in the background as an observer. (Ages 6-9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1994

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