After reading Kimberley Griffiths Little’s wonderful novel, The Healing Spell, earlier this year, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of Circle of Secrets. The story did not disappoint! From the beginning, I was drawn right back into Little’s wonderful descriptions of the Louisiana bayous and their unique and vibrant culture. Shelby was an easy character to feel close to, and my heart ached for her as she navigated the difficult pathways of her broken family and tried to make a place for herself at a new school.
It was hard not to compare this book to The Healing Spell, and as such, it didn’t earn quite as high a rating for me as its predecessor. While I thought that the supernatural plotline was fun, and a wonderful way to bring about healing in Shelby’s family, I also felt at times that the supernatural elements and Shelby’s relationship with the mysterious Gwen detracted a little from Shelby’s equally poignant relationship with her mother. I also felt, in the end, like things wrapped up a little too quickly and easily, and that the resolution of the story didn’t carry quite as much weight as the set-up had. However, on the whole, Circle of Secrets was a magical, engrossing read and left me wishing for more long after I’d closed it. I certainly hope to read more Bayou Teche novels by Kimberley Little in the future!
Circle of Secrets would be a perfect read for both pre-teens and their parents. (It would be an especially great pick for a mother-daughter book club!)
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic
Profanity/Language: 3 religious exclamations.
Violence/Gore: A story is told about a girl killed by lightning. Kids speculate about what it would feel like to be struck by lightning. Kids speculate about what it would feel like to drown.
Sex/Nudity: Characters flirt.
Mature Subject Matter:
Parental separation, death, mother/daughter relationships
Alcohol / Drug Use: