Read zeely by Virginia Hamilton Symeon Shimin Online


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....

Title : zeely
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 16142708
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 144 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

zeely Reviews

  • Kressel Housman
    2019-02-12 12:37

    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 her brother are on her way to their uncle's farm for the summer, and she changes her name from "Elizabeth" to "Geeber." Then, when she meets Zeely, a beautiful black woman of over 6 feet who works on the farm, and then a National Geographic type picture of a Watutsi woman from Rwanda, she declares that "Zeely is a queen." (Note that this book was written decades before the Rwanda genocide against the Tutsis.) But Zeely sets her straight about reality, and in a very kind way. And it ends with a "be here now" kind of point, which is a good message for any young girl given to fantasy, though I think the book will have special meaning for African Americans.

  • Debra Anne
    2019-02-11 18:33

    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 black and white drawings that capture the sense of magic and mystery in a little girl's soul on a summertime visit to her Uncle Ross's farm. The author gently weaves in stories of the slave days, and creates an enchantment around the personage of a hog farmer's daughter down the way, whom young Elizabeth is convinced is really a queen, descended from a long line of African royalty. This was the first book by Virginia Hamilton I ever read, and it remains my favorite.

  • Michael Fitzgerald
    2019-01-24 11:35

    I understand the idea of having "special" names - and it's certainly essential to the story, but the ones chosen are just stupid: Toeboy and Geeder. The second half of the book is much better than the first, which drags.

  • Ian Wood
    2019-02-03 13:33

    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-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).I rated this book WORTHY!WARNING! MAY CONTAIN UNHIDDEN SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!Zeely, believe it or not. is a story about Elizabeth Perry and her brother John who go to the country to spend the summer with their uncle, Ross. On the train there, they change their names to Geeder (soft 'G') and Toeboy for the summer for reasons unexplained.This is a short novel, only a hundred pages or so, and an easy read - not just because of the comfortable writing and leisurely pace of the novel, but also because the story is very entertaining. But don't make the mistake of thinking it's too leisurely. The story moves.Geeder and Toeboy decide to "camp out" at night, and they sleep in a field near the house which has a view of the road through the bushes. One night they see a tall white shape go silently past, and Geeder tells her brother that it's a Night Traveler and he must never talk to it or let it see him.It turns out that the night traveler is really Zeely, the daughter of a guy who rents part of Uncle Ross's farmland to raise "hogs", because naming them pigs is just too real. There has to be a distance between the adorable animal out in the field and the dead meat which we wolf-down from our plates, doesn't there - otherwise it gets personal? So Sheep become mutton, cow becomes steak, pig becomes hog in the field because that sounds more horrible, and it becomes pork on the plate, because hog isn't edible. Pork is. Trust the French to make it palatable.But that's not what this story is about. It's about the relationship which develops between Elizabeth and Zeely. Zeely is a Tutsi, referred to in this novel as a Watutsi, which is a group of people who colonized what is now Rwanda in Africa. Along with the Dinka people, the Tutsi are considered the tallest of all peoples in the world, averaging around six feet in height. By comparison in the US, men average five feet ten, women five feet five, so at this time of year, a tipsy Tutsi would be rather noticeable!Elizabeth, aka Geeder, gets to know Zeely, whom at first, she thinks is an African queen due to an article she espies in a National Geographic magazine. It turns out that Zeely is actually from Canada, and not a queen, but the relationship between them, Geeder's activities, and the chat she has with Zeely about her life, are really well written and fascinating to read. I recommend this novel.

  • Morgan
    2019-02-17 15:25

    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 bossing him around and inventing stories designed to frighten him. They stay with their Uncle Ross for the summer (no reason is given for this plot device); this book loosely is a coming-of-age story, though Geeder shows very little development or maturity from book's beginning to end. Hamilton's style of writing is annoying: Geeder, Toeboy, and Uncle Ross are nearly the only characters who speak, and Geeder says everything out loud--there is no internal dialogue. At times, this is clumsy writing and awkward for readers; furthermore, Geeder's strange obsession with Zeely is creepy. Minimal plot action, absence of character development, lackluster climax, and no resolution further characterize this story. The message of the novel is most probably given by Zeely, when she finally speaks with Geeder, and is this: move forward. Zeely, wrongly thought by Geeder to be an African queen, tells the story of her mother, grandmother, and ancestors in Rwanda. Her point is that Geeder (and the readers) must not look back to Africa's past but focus on their future.Overall, a disappointing book.

  • Jacquelyn
    2019-01-23 17:49

    Genre: Fiction Reading level: Ages 8-12Geeder 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 magazine photo of a Watutsis queen, but tempered by a private conversation with the ordinary young woman from Canada. Did I mention that these children and the woman they revere are African-American? Although central to the plot and undercurrent of the story, race is not the main theme by any means. It is a tale of imagination, family, and self-perception. The setting was current with the story was written four decades ago and brings to mind a simpler way of life. The shadowy black and white illustrations allow us a peek into Geeder’s world, and the reading group guide in the back offers discussion questions and potential activities.Other books about African-American children:My painted house, my friendly chicken, and me. Maya AngelouNappy Hair, Carolivia Herron (picture book for ages 5-8)The Watsons go to Birmingham—1963, Christopher Paul Curtis

  • Sophie Gray
    2019-02-05 18:53

    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 quality to keep the audience interested throughout the entire piece. Bringing this book into a classroom would not go far, as children would have a hard time following the story line which would create for distraction and unwillingness to continue the reading. Exposing children to literature that is hard to understand yourself is asking for failure, in order to portray a message to the students well you must understand it significantly yourself.

  • Caly ☯
    2019-02-10 12:30

    It may be a middle-grade book but it has a wonderful message and I am glad that I read it.

  • Ms. Matteson
    2019-01-28 14:29

    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 because this book was written so long ago, but I feel like there are many other books that have a better message or storyline than Zeely. I kept reading the book, waiting for the good part...waiting for the part when all of it would make sense...and that part, in my opinion, never came.

  •  Imani ♥ ☮
    2019-02-15 15:26

    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 and think they see ghosts. Then the girl(zeely) tells them that she is not a model and then the story pretty much ends. Yeah that's about it.

  • Jack
    2019-01-25 19:40

    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. (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 yearsGrade Level: 3 - 7Lexile Measure: 690L

  • Kris Odahowski
    2019-01-29 12:35

    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.

  • Oriyah Nitkin
    2019-01-29 18:26

    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.

  • Theresa
    2019-02-21 18:49

    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.

  • Christi
    2019-02-23 19:30

    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

  • Kelly
    2019-01-25 11:42

    A book of mystery - surprising story.

  • Karis
    2019-02-19 17:52

    i didnt read it so um theres your answer

  • Millie Dillman
    2019-01-23 16:40

    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.Kindle

  • Michael
    2019-02-11 11:46

    this book is alright

  • Brynn
    2019-01-25 16:55

    Although her writing is beautiful, I felt this book would be fairly difficult to follow for the age group it is intended to reach.

  • Chassyboo12
    2019-02-02 14:37

    I love the way this author uses description and diolage . I guess i'm reallt intrested in this book.

  • Krithika
    2019-02-14 16:37

    Elizabeth and John Perry come to their Uncle Ross' farm for the summer. Elizabeth wants to 'reinvent' herself in a way, and decides to take the name of Geeder (because horses respond to Gee) and gives the name Toeboy to her brother, who gets to run barefoot amongst the grasses of the farm. When Geeder sees a majestic, tall, woman, who seems anything but normal, it is up to Geeder to find out the truth. But as rumors are started and stories are told, the truth is what changes Geeder's mindset forever. This book was unusually, different yet satisfying read. It is for children but can be read by older tweens, tweens and the like. The character development and nuances of living on the farm, as well as different cultures, brought this book together.

  • Alyssa
    2019-02-13 17:34

    My favorite of the three Virginia Hamilton books I read in May 2017 - Zeely, The House of Dies Drear, and M.C. Higgins, the Great.

  • Matt Miles
    2019-02-04 11:53

    This is an easy and deceptively profound read about dignity, beauty, myth, and growing up that I highly recommend to all ages.