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VOYAThe death of Ruba Jones's grandmother in 1969 sends her from her beloved Haiti to the small, racially volatile town of Pass Christian, Mississippi. Church-going Grandmother Jones pressures Ruba to abandon her language, customs, and belief in spells and warrior spirits in order to fit into her new community. As Ruba's bold manner and refusal to submit to the rule of white men triggers a firestorm in Pass Christian, the Stormwitch causes a hurricane to head straight for town. The last in a line of Dahomey Amazons, Ruba knows that only her magic and strength will save her community from the mythic Stormwitch. Ruba teaches her people to have pride in themselves and in their history. She declares, "We first have to be loyal to each other and stand together against those who would use us and kill us . . . We have to remember what came before guns and steel. It wasn't perfect, but it was ours." Her conviction brings her family to a better understanding of their history and leads a young Klansman to a realization of their shared humanity. Although this book gives the reader insight into the waning days of the civil rights movement, the realistic and fantastic elements often fail to mesh effectively, and the final confrontation between Ruba and the Stormwitch is anticlimactic, almost absurd. This book may have some appeal for a general audience, but its mix of elements will reduce its appeal as fantasy or historical fiction. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, Bloomsbury, 200p., Ages 12 to 15.