Today’s pick: The Healing Spell
by Kimberley Griffiths Little
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.
“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
For more, visit Kimberley Griffiths Little’s website.
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!