Circle of Secrets

Circle of Secrets

4.5 30
by Kimberley Griffiths Little
     
 

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Critically acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a haunting story of friendship and family and the power of faith, once again set against the lush backdrop of the Lousiana bayou. After her mother walked out on Shelby Jayne and her dad, Shelby thought she'd never speak to her mamma again. But with her dad leaving the country for work, it turns out she

Overview

Critically acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a haunting story of friendship and family and the power of faith, once again set against the lush backdrop of the Lousiana bayou. After her mother walked out on Shelby Jayne and her dad, Shelby thought she'd never speak to her mamma again. But with her dad leaving the country for work, it turns out she doesn't have a choice: Shelby has to move back into her mamma's house, deep in the heart of the Louisiana bayou. Her new classmates tease and torment her, so Shelby's relieved to finally find a friend in Gwen, a mysterious girl who lives alone on the bayou. But Shelby can't help wondering if Gwen has something to do with the puzzling messages she finds hidden in the blue bottle tree behind her house. The only person who might be able to explain is her mamma -- but Shelby's not ready to ask. Not yet. It may take a brush with something from the beyond to help Shelby see that the power to put her own ghosts to rest is within her reach. Kimberley Griffiths Little's haunting and powerful tale brings one girl's attempt to grapple with family, friendship, and forgiveness to beautiful, vivid life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for THE HEALING SPELL:
"An incantational tale of Cajun magic and gators in the bayou and of the love and silence between mother and daughter." -- Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A YEAR DOWN YONDER

"Kimberley Griffiths Little's THE HEALING SPELL is an atmospheric, affecting story of hope and devotion, as elegant and mysterious as bayou country itself." -- Cynthia Leitich Smith, acclaimed author of TANTALIZE and ETERNAL

"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." -- BOOKLIST

"Middle school readers will find a realistic yet haunting quality to Livie's life in the bayou. While there is an exotic feel to the description of the lush green and the cool swirling water, Livie's experiences are the universal experiences of growing up to face who you are and where you fit in." -- CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

"A wonderful coming-of-age story." -- SUNDAY ADVERTISER

Gr 5-8–A story of loss, love, and forgiveness. When Shelby Jane’s father is sent out of the country for his work and her Grandma Phoebe must have an operation, she is sent to live with her mama deep in the Louisiana bayou. Because Shelby, 10, believes that her mother abandoned her, the start of this mother/daughter reunion is contentious, and Shelby seems determined to maintain her distance. Mirage is a traiteur, a healer who ministers to those in need with herbal remedies, prayers, and patience. Selby’s reluctance to give an inch at first makes her transition to life in the bayou that much more difficult. She can’t, however, squelch her fascination with the blue bottle tree in the backyard. Mirage explains that the bottles are supposed to capture spirits and that notes are put inside to send messages from the beyond. A mysterious tone permeates this gripping story. Shelby is a believable, fully developed character, as is Mirage. When the child starts at her new school, she is drawn into a frightening truth-or-dare challenge by the in crowd, which foreshadows future eerie, terrifying developments. Her strong friendship with mysterious Gwen dovetails with her determination to understand notes she takes from the blue bottle tree and Mirage’s references to painful memories she is trying to forget. Little’s rich, vivid prose and characterization create an intriguing universe in which realism and mysticism intertwine as the story’s secrets unravel. Fans of Little’s The Healing Spell (Scholastic, 2010) and Donna Jo Napoli’s Alligator Bayou (Random, 2009) will be well served by this selection.
–Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
School Library Journal, December 1, 2011

Children's Literature - Lisette Baez
This is a coming-of-age story about a young girl who faces life's tough lessons at an early age. Shelby Jane knows heartache firsthand when her mother walks out on her and her father. She figures she will never see her mother again but her father's job suddenly forces him to leave the country, so Shelby has no choice but to move in with her mother. With her new found home, Shelby encounters mean classmates that torment her along with deep sadness as she desperately tries to forgive her mother. Soon, Shelby starts to feel some hope when she meets Gwen, a mysterious girl in the bayou, and the two quickly become friends. Although Gwen is a lifesaver for Shelby, she is not sure if she is responsible for the cryptic messages she keeps finding in the tree behind her house. Shelby could reach out to her mother for help but she is not ready to trust that relationship quite yet. Readers will follow this courageous young girl, as she embarks on a journey of love, friendship, family and forgiveness in this powerful story. Reviewer: Lisette Baez
School Library Journal

1*STAR Gr 5–8—A story of loss, love, and forgiveness. When Shelby Jane's father is sent out of the country for his work and her Grandma Phoebe must have an operation, she is sent to live with her mama deep in the Louisiana bayou. Because Shelby, 10, believes that her mother abandoned her, the start of this mother/daughter reunion is contentious, and Shelby seems determined to maintain her distance. Mirage is a traiteur, a healer who ministers to those in need with herbal remedies, prayers, and patience. Selby's reluctance to give an inch at first makes her transition to life in the bayou that much more difficult. She can't, however, squelch her fascination with the blue bottle tree in the backyard. Mirage explains that the bottles are supposed to capture spirits and that notes are put inside to send messages from the beyond. A mysterious tone permeates this gripping story. Shelby is a believable, fully developed character, as is Mirage. When the child starts at her new school, she is drawn into a frightening truth-or-dare challenge by the in crowd, which foreshadows future eerie, terrifying developments. Her strong friendship with mysterious Gwen dovetails with her determination to understand notes she takes from the blue bottle tree and Mirage's references to painful memories she is trying to forget. Little's rich, vivid prose and characterization create an intriguing universe in which realism and mysticism intertwine as the story's secrets unravel. Fans of Little's The Healing Spell (Scholastic, 2010) and Donna Jo Napoli's Alligator Bayou (Random, 2009) will be well served by this selection.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ

Kirkus Reviews

A steamy Louisiana bayou is the atmospheric backdrop to a tale about a daughter's estrangement from her mom, the mother's long-held guilty secret and a restless ghost's long-sought closure.

When her dad takes a job overseas, 11-year-old Shelby must stay with the mother who walked out on both of them a year earlier. Deeply resentful and wary of her healer mom's isolated cabin deep in the swamp, Shelby gets drawn into mysterious doings involving strange notes hidden in glass bottles that hang from a tree near home. Tormented at school, Shelby eventually finds a friend in Gwen, a girl who lives alone in the bayou. Ever more mysterious incidents ensue as Shelby slowly unravels the truth about Gwen, her mother's involvement with the cryptic messages and Mom's past. The author serves up the setting well, evoking the sights, sounds and smells of the humid, tangledbayou. She fares less well with the regionalisms, which are delivered inconsistently and sometimes jar. The gently spooky ghost angle is handled nicely with some religious overtones. A very dramatic climax leads to a sweet, satisfying ending with some surprising twists and with reconciliation occurring for several characters.

For readers who like their ghost stories more friendly than terrifying.(Suspense. 9 -12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545388023
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
579,477
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


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.

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Circle of Secrets 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
sta6r More than 1 year ago
Kimberley Little's book "CIRCLE OF SECRETS" is a mysterious story. Shelbey Jayne is celebrating her birthday after she opens presents; eat cake, her dad packed up her things. Shelbey has to stay with her mom why her dad is away for six months. She has not seen her mom for a year. Shelbey finds notes in a tree called "The Blue Bottle Tree". She finds a girl in a cemetery named Gwen. The notes that were in the tree are from her mom and Gwen. Shelbey thinks that Gwen may have a dieses that makes her stay eleven. Shelbey is wondering what happened to Gwen's family because they have been gone for a long time. The life lesson is that no matter what life brings you can work it out or face it. I recommened this book to people who like mysterious story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! The book is so exciting its hard to put down. It's fun, mysterious and you never know what's coming next. I would recommend it to everyone! Loved it!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sweet, emotional ending and sad, haunting middle, all starting with a great sentimental beginning, i would recommend this to anyone looking for a great book to read! Truly one of my top ten favorite books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is very mystirious and thrilling. It should win a medal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book for ages 9-13 its cute action packed and mystrrious. I recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book makes me want to go all the way to the heart of the louisiana bayou.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book evevaaaaaaaa. You like mistoryes or gost storys this is the ebook for you Lololollololololilololoil
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an awsome book and i have it at home allready! This book is awsome! You should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book in the whole entire world of books its the truth. Its good for kids 10 and up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Time of the Fireflies and I think Gwen is the ghost of Larisssa's aunt. Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MUST BUY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its like 6 dollars when u buy it from schlastic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
fun and spooky at the same time XD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is a great book because it has many advenchers and sad parts. I love the secret blue bottle notes. I also love that Gwen is very mysterous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shelby is a likable character who is angry with her mother for abandoning her a year ago. Now she's faced with confronting her mother, fitting in at a new school (with some fierce bullies) and dealing with the absence of a father overseas. Soon she finds a friend to confide in, who happens to have secrets of her own. A little bit creepy, this story had me turning the page to learn all the secrets! This story is so beautifully written it captivated me with the realistic imagery of the south, drawing me into this charming world with bayous and moss, gators and crawfish. I wanted to pull up a chair and enjoy a meal with these characters. Fortunately for me, this book was a feast!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so amazing! I couldnt put it down. Defenetly one of my top favorite books. You never know whats going to happen next. Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it a good book its kind of expensive... $10
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The circle of secrets is a fasinating book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is some pretty good stuff!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Xfdbfssfqg
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not scare