Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Root Worker” as Want to Read:
The Root Worker
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Root Worker

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In Detroit in the 1960s, eleven-year-old Ellen tries to understand herself and her world as she is tormented by the nuns at her school; her mother, who believes Ellen is possessed; and the voodoo priestess who feeds her mother's fears.
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 21st 2001 by The Overlook Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Root Worker, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Root Worker

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 111)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 22, 2011 Titilayo rated it it was amazing
it's rare that i start a book and finish it in one day. i wasn't too keen on doing that when i started reading the root worker. i was just going to go two chapters in and start on something else; but i was drawn in. i wasn't sure if the narrator was clarissa or ellen or omnipotence in print. i felt it leading me somewhere. like story was being woven and i only saw a few spindles of thread working at creating a masterpiece. a gargantuan piece of lace spread out across detroit in the 60s. in the l ...more
Jul 25, 2009 Petra rated it really liked it
A horrifying story of a young girl's experiences at the hands of her mother and passive family and community. One's heart goes out to the girl as she searches for a safer life, although harboring no real hope.
The character of Ellen is one that the reader quickly feels empathy and heart for and wishes her free of her dilemma.
Not Now...Mommy's Reading
Jul 15, 2010 Not Now...Mommy's Reading rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loved Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" or Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye"
It's been quite awhile since I've actually FINISHED a book but "The Root Worker" was one I had a hard time putting down! It's the tragic story of 11-year old Ellen who suffers horrible abuse at the hands of her mother, her older brother, and the neighborhood 'root worker'. The author made the story so real and painted such a vivid picture of the neighborhood and its people as seen through the eyes of Ellen. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Alice Walker' ...more
I want to give this book negative stars. I hated it. It has been compared to the Bluest Eye by critics but the only similarity I could see is that the main character is sexually abused. And in this book she is sexually abused repeatedly and graphically. Within the first 50 or so pages there are something like 3 rape scenes described in sickening detail. I stopped reading it and wanted to wash my brain afterward.
J.R. Randle
Apr 08, 2008 J.R. Randle rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: literary or mystical buff
Recommended to J.R. by: Margaret
I absolutely love this novel. The characters were brought to life, vividly with clear expression. As a reader you quickly begin to feel deeply for Ellen(the main character). The author represents literary voices missing in today's publishing world.

Dec 03, 2007 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Miss Cleo
I met Ms. Burton once upon a time.

This book is gritty and scary and it has a Gothic kind of flavor to it. An interesting read. One of a kind.
Mar 07, 2013 Patricia rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! It was graphic and violent, but at the same time innocent and beautiful. This is not a book for everyone.
Aug 02, 2011 Malika rated it it was amazing
Another Deeeeetroit born author. Haunting book, I hope Raynelle has more stories to tell.
Sep 07, 2008 Mantis38 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book it was powerfully feminine- raw, earthy, and sometimes frightening.
Mar 07, 2011 Pure added it
Still trying to come to grips with this one so unbelieable................
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2016
Jenna rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2016
Honesti Cook
Honesti Cook marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2016
Kammiesue marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2016
Kameelah Martin
Kameelah Martin rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2016
Lori Williams
Lori Williams marked it as to-read
May 26, 2016
Amina Zineb
Amina Zineb rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2016
Jasmin Gentry
Jasmin Gentry marked it as to-read
Mar 13, 2016
Michael Woods
Michael Woods rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2016
Barbara Thomas
Barbara Thomas rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2016
Teresa Chambers
Teresa Chambers rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2015
Angie Zanardelli
Angie Zanardelli is currently reading it
Jun 22, 2015
Alice rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2015
Sharon marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
Edwina Putney
Edwina Putney marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2015
Misty added it
Apr 09, 2015
Elisa rated it really liked it
Mar 26, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book