Monday, September 3, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Healing Spell


Today’s pick: The Healing Spell
by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Scholastic, 2010

Publisher’s Description:

Twelve-year-old Livie is living with a secret and it's crushing her. She knows she is responsible for her mother's coma, but she can't tell anyone. It's up to her to find a way to wake her momma up.

Stuck in the middle of three sisters, hiding a forbidden pet alligator, and afraid to disappoint her daddy, whom she loves more than anyone else, Livie struggles to find her place within her own family as she learns about the powers of faith and redemption. Livie's powerful, emotional, and sometimes humorous story will stay with readers long after the last line is read.
Set in the lush bayou of Louisiana, Kimberley Griffiths Little brings Livie's story to life with power and grace.

 
My take:
This is a lovely story about a girl and how she fits into her family when a life-changing tragedy strikes. I got hooked right from the first page. Livie was a living, breathing person in my mind and I felt all her sadnesses and worries right along with her until the end of the story. I could relate to Livie as a tomboy and her struggle to be who she wanted when it seemed like other people wanted her to be someone else. The details about the bayou setting, complete with gators and bullfrogs, made the story lively and interesting.

I often hear writing advice about making sure every word counts, and in this story they all truly did. Each phrase or sentence includes details that capture Livie’s thoughts and voice. I’d read this again to study how Kimberley Griffith’s Little fit all the pieces together to make the story come together so perfectly and to learn more about showing story events from the main character’s perspective.

 Favourite quotes:
“My chest got so tight it felt like a gator squeezing my heart between his jaws.”

“I summoned up all the faith I could from deep down in my gut.”
“…I felt the hugeness of that knowledge bursting up from my toes, rising straight to my heart, and filling everything in between.”

 
Other info:
Kimberley Griffiths Little knew she wanted to be a writer in elementary school, when she used to write stories every day and read lots of books. She lives with her husband and children in a solar adobe house in New Mexico.

Her next middle grade book, When The Butterflies Came, will be published in April 2013.

The Healing Spell won the Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010 and was chosen as a Bank Street College Best Book for 2011.

 
Other books by this author include:
Circle of Secrets,  2011
Enchanted Runner, 2009
The Last Snake Runner, 2004


Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was dreamed up by the incredible Shannon Messenger. Visit her blog for an up-to-date list of all the bloggers who are participating and posting about middle grade books today!


 

20 comments:

  1. Great review Andrea. I've heard great things about Kimbereley's books. Can't wait to read When the Butterflies Came too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm definitely going to be looking for her other books to read!

      Delete
  2. This sums it up for me:

    "I often hear writing advice about making sure every word counts, and in this story they all truly did. Each phrase or sentence includes details that capture Livie’s thoughts and voice. "

    Like you took the thoughts out of my head as I read this book. Loved it and really looking forward to her next one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deb. I don't often come across a novel where every word is so important to the story.

      Delete
  3. I was going to say exactly what Deb said!!! We're all thinking alike on this one, obviously.

    I have seen so many reviews of THE HEALING SPELL. You've all convinced me that I have to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've read Kimberley's Circle of Secrets and so adored her use of words and setting. I haven't read this one yet but know I would love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I haven't read Circle of Secrets. I'll have to look for it!

      Delete
  5. I haven't read this one yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed Circle of Secrets and plan to get this one soon. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think you'll be disappointed, Michelle. It's a great read!

      Delete
  6. Isn't this a lovely book? I love the tender relationships Kimberley so masterfully develops.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't sure about it when I first picked it up, but I'm so glad I read it!

      Delete
  8. I love this cover and I have this author on my TBR list! I thought your review was wonderful- so helpful. I like that this book held your interest from the first page. Thanks!
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jess. For me this novel was a great example of a novel that is truly middle grade.

      Delete
  9. I love this review, Andrea! Thank you so much for featuring my book and, of course, I'm so happy you enjoyed it. :-)

    Warm wishes,
    Kimberley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm going to look for your other books now!

      Delete
  10. Another fantastic and thorough post. Love this. Off to tweet it.

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I've decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).