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7 Fantasy Series You Can Binge Read While Social Distancing

Author Explores A Dark History Through A Magical Story In 'Rise Of The Jumbies'

Author Explores A Dark History Through A Magical Story In 'Rise Of The Jumbies'

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 Why you should read them: The Jumbies series is full of brave kids facing tremendous challenges, mermaids, magic and, of course, jumbies—"creatures who will eat you if given half the chance," as author Tracey Baptiste described them to Colorin Colorado. While your kids will tear through The Jumbies (and then ask for more), this page-turning, adventurous series will capture the hearts of teens and adults, too. But beware—you may start looking over your shoulder to make sure no jumbies are following you home. 

Author Explores A Dark History Through A Magical Story In 'Rise Of The Jumbies'

Author Explores A Dark History Through A Magical Story In 'Rise Of The Jumbies'

Author Explores A Dark History Through A Magical Story In 'Rise Of The Jumbies'

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November 12, 20177:52 AM ET

Heard on Weekend Edition Sunday


Writer Tracy Baptiste was born in Trinidad where she grew up on fairy tales and the spoken folk tales of the island, including stories about creatures called jumbies. The mythical monsters inspired her to write her own Caribbean folk tale for middle schoolers. 

Mermaids Have Always Been Black

Author Explores A Dark History Through A Magical Story In 'Rise Of The Jumbies'

New Jersey authors: The top 10 of 2019

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By Tracey Baptiste

July 10, 2019


The uproar over Disney casting Halle Bailey as the Little Mermaid overlooks generations of Caribbean and African folklore. 

 

As a young child growing up in Trinidad and Tobago within sight and walking distance of the Caribbean Sea, I was gripped by the intrigue of mermaids. I was introduced to one version of a mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, whose tale of a magical girl creature, an impossible location and an outrageous desire was thrilling. 

New Jersey authors: The top 10 of 2019

She’s Seeking Power, But She’s Not Power-Seeking

New Jersey authors: The top 10 of 2019

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Baptiste, of Englewood, tells of jumbies, the spirits of West Africa and the Caribbean. Her stories of fire, water and air paint a rich depiction of life on an island where a girl lives with her dad, who is a gentle fisherman. She understands and communicates with the spirits. 

She’s Seeking Power, But She’s Not Power-Seeking

She’s Seeking Power, But She’s Not Power-Seeking

She’s Seeking Power, But She’s Not Power-Seeking

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By Tracey Baptiste

Nov. 7, 2019


Those who live on islands understand the lore and the lure of shores. The borders between the edge of the land and the beginning of the sea lend themselves to storytelling, as the creatures of the land yearn for what lies beyond the horizon. In true island fashion, Erin Entrada Kelly’s latest, LALANI OF THE DISTANT SEA (Greenwillow, 400 pp., $16.99; ages 8 to 12), is built on the folklore of her island Filipino culture, as traditional oral lore is built on the remembrances of all the tellings that came before it. 

Video Interview - Colorin Colorado!

She’s Seeking Power, But She’s Not Power-Seeking

She’s Seeking Power, But She’s Not Power-Seeking

Tracey Baptiste lived in Trinidad until she was fifteen, and she grew up on jumbie stories and fairy

Tracey Baptiste lived in Trinidad until she was fifteen, and she grew up on jumbie stories and fairy tales. Those stories inspired her to write the middle grade fantasy adventures The Jumbies and Rise of the Jumbies. She is also the author of the contemporary YA novel Angel’s Grace as well as nonfiction books for kids in elementary through high school.

Best family-friendly podcasts for your bubble

Best family-friendly podcasts for your bubble

Best family-friendly podcasts for your bubble

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Tracey Baptiste lived in Trinidad until she was fifteen, and she grew up on jumbie stories and fairy tales. Those stories inspired her to write the middle grade fantasy adventures The Jumbies and Rise of the Jumbies. She is also the author of the contemporary YA novel Angel’s Grace as well as nonfiction books for kids in elementary through high school.

Best family-friendly podcasts for your bubble

Best family-friendly podcasts for your bubble

Best family-friendly podcasts for your bubble

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First Second Books has announced a new line of graphic novels that will tell stories from American history. 

History Comics: Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin by Tracey Baptiste and Shauna J. Grant (Winter 2021)