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Virginia Hamilton
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3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  160 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Geeder's summer at her uncle's farm is made special because of her friendship with a very tall, composed woman who raises hogs and who closely resembles the magazine photograph of a Watutsi queen.
Published by Fireside Books (first published 1967)
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(showing 1-30 of 376)
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Kressel Housman
I first heard about this book when I was about 12 and it was described on one of those PBS shows that encourages kids to read. The mystery of Zeely and who she really was so intrigued me that I remembered it after all these years and finally read the book. It's very much a young adult book, but I enjoyed it anyway, though nowhere near as much as Harry Potter.

The heroine of the book is an American black girl who loves to create elaborate fantasies. You see that early on in the book when she and h
Debra Anne
Aug 13, 2013 Debra Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have lost count of the number of times I've read this small book over the years, but today the covers fell off my copy. I loved it today as much as I did the first time I read it. Anything I say about the story line will be inadequate because it is the crafting of scenes and character that make the book spellbinding. One feels the night, the dew, and is pulled into the mystery of the Nightwalker. My copy which has, or had, a different cover than that shown above, is illustrated by beautiful bl ...more
Ian Wood
Dec 26, 2014 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Sophie Gray
I did not follow this book very well throughout my time of reading. The way that the author put together the story line confused me as a reader, more than half the time I was confused on what exactly was going on in the story. A strong piece of literature is one that is formatted in a way that the reader can follow. Due to the fact that I did not understand the story line, I was unable to engage myself in the book as well as I had hoped for. One of the most important qualities of a book is the q ...more
Jul 29, 2015 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ms-f, racial-justice
1967. Zeely. Illustrated by Symeon Shimin. New York: Macmillan. In this female initiation story, Geeder Perry and her brother, Toeboy, go to their uncle’s farm for the summer and encounter a six-and-a-half-foot-tall Watutsi queen and a mysterious night traveler.
Elizabeth (Geeder) meets Zeely when she spends the summer at Uncle Ross' farm. Zeely descends from the Watutsi people and Elizabeth imagines Zeely to be a queen.
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level
Nov 20, 2008 Jacquelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Fiction Reading level: Ages 8-12
Geeder and Toeboy set out on an exciting adventure to visit their Uncle Ross for the summer. The children enjoy re-visiting familiar places in the farmhouse and on the property that they remember from previous visits. A tall, graceful woman whose family rents a plot of land from Uncle Ross fascinates Geeder. Zeely, Geeder decides, must be an African Queen as she carries herself so regally and is so very beautiful. Geeder’s imagination is supported by a maga
Nov 07, 2015 Morgan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Considering how much hype and critical adoration this book has received, I was expecting something completely different. I found the protagonist, Elizabeth (who inexplicably changes her name to Geeder), to be whiny and, frankly, strange. She becomes obsessed with Zeely, a 6'5" black woman on a farm nearby; Geeder makes up stories about Zeely and isolates herself from other young children in town.

Geeder forces her brother to change his name to Toeboy; she spends a great deal of the short book bo
Ms. Matteson
I chose to read Zeely because I first read this book in 4th grade. When my class read this book, I remembered how much we hated it. Looking back on this memory, I wondered if it was actually a bad book or if we were just being typical 4th grade students who complained about anything their teacher made them read. Now that I am older and have reread the book, my feelings toward the book have not changed very much. It wasn't a bad book, but I wouldn't say it was a good book, either. Perhaps it is b ...more
 Imani ♥ ☮
Oh my gosh! I have never read a more boring book in my entire life. I am dead serious. So the story starts it with these kids going to visit their uncle or whoever. Then they change their names or something. Then they get down south to their uncle's house and the author gives way too much description about how the house looks and everything. And then after that I kind of don't remember much. I mean I remember that they see this girl who looks like a model or something and then they sleep outside ...more
Kris Odahowski
Spending a summer away from the city and parents a brother and sister in find mystery in their experience in the rural South. Hamilton sets a stage where a young tween tries to find the identity of a local farm worker. Great book to tie into the study of Rwanda and the identity of recent African immigrants. This book is available for check-out at the Gadsden County Public Library.
Sep 15, 2011 Christi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of Geeder and her little brother Toeboy and their summer at their uncle's farm. Geeder's imagination leads her to believe that Miss Zeely Taber is an African queen.

Beautifully written with magical elements. I love Virginia Hamilton.

Appeal terms: magical, lush language, languid pace
Oriyah Nitkin
I read this book in the wrong decade. If I'd read it 20 or so years ago, I may have loved it. But it wasn't whimsical or maturely developed enough to entertain me as an adult. And since I'm not the target audience, that's a bit unfair.
I liked this book even though I felt that some of the hype was a bit overdone. I felt that though it is a short quick read, I would have liked a bit more clarity and detail. The characterization was pretty good though.
Millie Dillman
Read it for the class I had in my graduate program. It was so-so. It's a middle aged book and I think I would have liked it better if I was younger.

Sep 13, 2007 Brynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although her writing is beautiful, I felt this book would be fairly difficult to follow for the age group it is intended to reach.
I love the way this author uses description and diolage . I guess i'm reallt intrested in this book.
May 27, 2013 Karis marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i didnt read it so um theres your answer
Jul 23, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of mystery - surprising story.
Oct 11, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is alright
Jan 13, 2013 Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book!
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