The Healing Spell
By Kimberley Griffiths Little
(Scholastic Press, Hardcover, 9780545165594, 368pp.)
Publication Date: July 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
Kimberley Griffiths Little is the author of THE HEALING SPELL and CIRCLE OF SECRETS, as well as dozens of short stories that have appeared in numerous publications, and the novels BREAKAWAY, ENCHANTED RUNNER, and THE LAST SNAKE RUNNER. She is the winner of the Southwest Book Award. Kimberley lives near the banks of the Rio Grande in New Mexico in a solar adobe house with her husband and their three sons.
Eleven-year-old Livie is terrified when her father insists that they bring her comatose mother home from the hospital. How can she look at, much less touch and care for, Mamma when she alone knows that she caused her illness? As Mamma continues to languish in bed, Livie grows more and more estranged from her family, a chasm that begins to close only after she gathers her courage to visit the local traiteur, who gives her the formula for a healing spell. As Livie collects the spell's necessary ingredients, she begins to open up to the knowledge that she is loved and cherished by her family. Little explores the extremes of childhood guilt and its consequences in this harsh yet well-crafted story about fully drawn people. The bayou, with its rich culture, is an atmospheric character that overlays the story with mystery and dread. A special offering for readers seeking a challenge of the heart as well as the mind. Grades 5-8. --Frances Bradburn