Who Do Voodoo?
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Twelve year old New York City boy, Phil Williams, struggles with conflicting messages when, entrusted by his grandmother in the role of "Icebreaker," he visits estranged family in New Orleans as he sets out to restore the family relationship and ends up rescuing his great-aunt from the grips of death at the hands of an unforeseen evil presence. Voodoo? Or scare tactics by mere mortals? More
For Middle Grade readers. Jesus and Voodoo. Party and prayer. Love and betrayal. Twelve year old New York City boy, Phil Williams, struggles with conflicting messages when, entrusted by his grandmother in the role of "Icebreaker," he visits estranged family in New Orleans as he sets out to restore the family relationship. With his best friend, Nestor, in tow, Phil encounters a series of strange events - erratic behavior by supposed family members, bloody headless chickens, an unseen intruder during the night. Nestor is convinced the bodies of Phil's family members have been taken over by voodoo practitioners. Phil refuses to accept this explanation and is determined to uncover the truth. Is it Voodoo? Or scare tactics by mere mortals?
Phil's visit to the Land of Pirates results in a plan of action and determination to follow clues to solve the mystery. His investigations lead him to the source. Discovering an underground passageway once used as a stop in the Underground Railroad, the boys venture into darkness to discover the truth. Wanting to be viewed as a hero in saving his great-aunt, her husband and housekeeper, Phil refuses to involve the police and unduly places everyone at the merciless hands of the culprits. With everyone's life in jeopardy, Phil regrets his decision, realizing he may never get the chance to brag about his exploits at school. With the force for good watching, help comes from a hovering presence, just in the nick of time.
Phil learns his strengths and weaknesses as he struggles to put the jumbled puzzle pieces in play. His appreciation of true friendship is apparent as his love of family and New Orleans are renewed.
He visits Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Quarter, Mardi Gras World, the crypt of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Jean Lafitte Louisiana, the Audubon Aquarium and Riverwalk. Phil learns about Louisiana's history, swamps and the state's concern for environment and wildlife. He now understands the far-reaching effects of "fracking" and why environmentalists and public safety representatives are so strongly opposed.
With his newly developed attention to detail, Phil composes a poem entitled "New Orleans" to capture his heart-felt memories.
If Phil had to do it all over again, what would he have done differently? Probably nothing.
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