Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston
Author: Alicia D. Williams
Illustrator: Jacqueline Alcántara
Published January 12th, 2021 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Summary: A picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature.
Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales on a whole culture of literature overlooked…until Zora. Until Zora jumped.
About the Creators:
Alicia D. Williams is the author of Genesis Begins Again, which received a Newbery and Kirkus Prize honors, was a William C. Morris Award finalist, and for which she won the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award for New Talent. A graduate of the MFA program at Hamline University, and an oral storyteller in the African American tradition, she is also a teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jacqueline Alcántara is the illustrator of the critically acclaimed The Field and Freedom Soup. Her favorite days are spent drawing, painting, writing, and walking her dog. In 2016, she was awarded the inaugural We Need Diverse Books Illustrator mentorship. Find out more at JacquelineAlcantara.com.
- How are the end pages representative of Zora?
- How were Zora’s stories important to American literature?
- Why did the author call Zora a “storycatcher?”
- How did the author integrate fictional characters and stories within her nonfiction biography of Zora Neale Hurston?
- Why was some of Zora’s storytelling looked down upon?
- What does the figurative phrase “reach/jump to the sun” mean?
Read This If You Love: Zora Neale Hurston, Picture book biographies
**Thank you to Simon & Schuster for a copy of the book to review!**