Eleven-year-old Livie is keeping a secret, and it's crushing her. She knows she is responsible for her mother's coma, but she can't tell anyone. And it's up to her to find a way to wake her mamma before anyone uncovers the truth of what really happened.
Added to the list of Livie's problems are being stuck in the middle of three sisters, trying to hide a forbidden pet alligator, and possibly disappointing her daddy, whom she loves more than anyone else. Livie feels like an outsider and prefers the solitude of the wild bayou to her ever-crowded home. But she can't run away from her troubles, and as she struggles to find her place within her family, Livie learns a lot about the powers of faith and redemption. Is her heart big enough to heal her mamma and bring her family back together?
Kimberley Griffiths Little's beautiful, vivid writing brings Livie's lush world on the bayou to brilliant life, and depicts Livie's journey with a sensitivity and wisdom that's sure to resonate with readers of all ages.
Title: The Healing Spell
Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: July 1, 2010
Source: Received from author courtesy of Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Kimberley Griffiths Little and Teen Book Scene for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review is part of the Teen Book Scene blog tour. Please click here or on the banner below the review to view the tour details.
My rating: 5/5
Livie's summer is off to a horrible start. Her mother has been in the hospital for the last eleven days in a coma. No one but Livie knows what happened to cause her momma's accident. Her daddy brings her momma home to tend to her while she is still in a comatose state. Livie is scared, and feeling guilty, and is also feeling like an outsider in her own family. Will she come to terms with the new status of her family, or can she find a way to help cure her momma?
I have to say that this book is so atmospheric, and so vibrant. I connected with Livie right away, as I was a tomboy growing up too, (you could say I still am). She and her mother don't get along, and it seems like they are from two different worlds. Livie can't understand why anyone would want to dress up, or do anything girly, and so she relegates herself to exploring the bayou behind her family's house. She spends a lot of time with her daddy going frog hunting, and emptying the crawfish traps. She is wholeheartedly a daddy's girl. Her voice throughout is strong and pure. I couldn't help but commiserate with her feelings, and I hoped that things would work out for her and her family. I loved reading her interactions with various family members, and chuckled when things went awry. Most of all, I loved her realizations about faith, and letting in the good memories while letting go of the bad.
Livie's voice brings you into this world of bayou's and alligators, and from the first page I was hooked. The inflection in her voice, and the cadence of the words jumped out at me and enticed me into her world. It wasn't hard to imagine that I was on the bayou with her, making friends with a baby alligator, or getting into hot water with her family. The setting is so vivid, and so brilliant, I couldn't help but fall in love with it, and with Livie's story. I was immersed so deeply in Livie's world that I hated to stop reading. It's an easy and quick read, but I found myself slowing down to savour it. I can't stress enough how beautiful this book is.
All in all, a gorgeous, vibrant, and beautiful tale about the journey one girl takes on the road to discovery and recovery. A family uniting, wild bayou countryside, hope and faith mesh together to create this warm, inviting, and beautifully descriptive read. I know that this one will definitely be a world that I re-visit. I'd highly recommend this one to people of all ages. Middle grade readers, and their parents as well as teens will enjoy The Healing Spell.