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The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis

The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis

The Nine Pound Hammer is a new young adult novel by North Carolina teacher and musician John Claude Bemis. And it is fantastic. The novel is historical fantasy based on American, and especially African American, folklore, set in the early 1890s in the American South. The book draws on lore of John Henry, hoodoo, bottle trees, African American traditions, and other Americana. It’s well-written and beautifully imagined. It’s especially refreshing for its multiracial cast of characters (unlike most classic fantasies, where the good guys are white and the bad guys are dark).

I was so excited to read this book–and I wasn’t disappointed–because the author is an old friend of mine. The Nine Pound Hammer is the first novel in a trilogy, and I can’t wait to read number two next summer.

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1 September 2009 - Posted by | books

1 Comment

  1. It’s not typical to get such a directive – and so I’ll do it!!!! I can’t wait. I’ll have my high school librarian order it, too. Thanks!

    Comment by Meghan | 1 September 2009


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