Sunday, June 10, 2018

EVANGELINE OF THE BAYOU by Jan Eldredge - Middle Grade Book Review

illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
Balzar + Bray, 2018

At a Glance


supernatural, folklore, horror

Age Range: 

8-12 years old (middle grade)


"Twelve-year-old haunt huntress apprentice Evangeline Clement spends her days and nights studying the ways of folk magic, honing her monster-hunting skills while pursuing local bayou banshees and Johnny revenants."

"But when Evangeline and her grandmother are called to New Orleans to resolve an unusual case, she uncovers a secret that will shake her to the soles of her silver-tipped alligator-skin boots." (source)


  • excellent overall storytelling
  • the mix of folklore was fantastic
  • I liked Evangeline's character and I think kids will relate
  • Just the right amount of creep factor for the age range
  • Werewolves!
  • illustrations were so much fun
  • a twist actually surprised me 

Would I recommend this title:

Most definitely yes!

Full Review

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I am always on the lookout for good kid appropriate horror. Evangeline of the Bayou totally fits the bill. I love all the folklore that Jan is able to pull into the novel. Her descriptions actually have me wanting more, in a good way. I want to go on every single hunt with Evangeline and her Grandma to see how each baddie--big and small--is handled. I hope that there will be a sequel.

Joseph Kuefler's black and white illustrations throughout the book are fun and add a bit to the creep factor without going overboard. 

I feel like Evangeline's character is relatable, especially to the target age group. That is what makes the book so great. Growing up, living up to expectations--both internal and external, death, and loss are all artfully intertwined into a story about a young girl fighting monsters. What is not to like?

One thing that I give total props to Jan for is getting me with a few twists. I usually have things all figured out by the end, but she got me.  I tip my hat to you, Madam. 

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys folklore, spooky stories, or just great storytelling.

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