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When the Butterflies Came Hardcover – April 1, 2013


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When the Butterflies Came + Circle of Secrets + The Healing Spell
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Twelve-year-old Tara’s chaotic life has always be steadied by one person—her beloved Grammy Claire. Now Grammy Claire is gone, and the Louisiana home that has sheltered Tara’s family for generations may be repossessed. In the midst of her grief, Tara’s heart is lightened when an extraordinary butterfly flies through her bedroom window and lands on Tara’s finger. Then a mysterious letter arrives for Tara—from Grammy Claire! This is the first clue in a secret mission that Grammy Claire seems to be directing from beyond the grave. Tara receives a set of variously shaped keys, each one unlocking the next clue, always written in Grammy Claire’s handwriting. In many ways this is an old-fashioned mystery that depends on Tara’s wits, not, refreshingly, from magical solutions and supernatural powers. While sophisticated readers may find the sequence of keys and clues somewhat unbelievable, young mystery lovers will enjoy the chance to test their own detection skills. Recommend this to readers who have enjoyed books by Andrew Clements or Blue Balliett. Grades 5-8. --Diane Colson

Review

Praise for CIRCLE OF SECRETS
"Little's rich, vivid prose and characterization create an intriguing universe in which realism and mysticism intertwine as the story's secrets unravel." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

"Readers will revel in the literary journey through a rare and unusual way of life."
--BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS

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

"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

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545425131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545425131
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When I was a kid I read a book a day, scribbled stories, and dreamed about having my very own book on the library shelf. I grew up in San Francisco, but now live in an adobe house on the banks of the Rio Grande with my husband and sons. I think I've drunk so much Land of Enchantment water that some of that ancient magic got into my blood and now spurts out my pencil--I mean ergonomic keyboard.

Which means I adore anything old and musty with a secret story to tell.

I make way too many cookies when I'm writing or revising a new book - and I've got the best book trailers in the universe - for reals! Check them out here: www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com. Please find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Youtube.

Awards: Southwest Book Award, Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011, Crystal Kite Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
81%
4 star
19%
3 star
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See all 21 customer reviews
Thank you sooooooo much.
Prevarications
It was amazing, I love reading and I enjoyed this book a lot. it is probably my favorite book ever.
Jesse Gruber
It has suspense and its a real page turner, with mystery added to it.
Janine Robb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kelli Lang on August 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Best book ever!!!! It is so magical There is a lot of surprises it is awesome. You will love it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By this game is weird? on July 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love it
It is awesome

I really believe in it
It is awesome
You should read it
5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charlene R. Griffiths on July 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. It is so nice to be able to read a book that is completely appropriate and still have an interesting story. I could not put this book down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Hudson on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
When Tara Doucet's Grammy Claire dies unexpectedly in a car accident Tara feels as though her whole family is falling apart. He mom disappears in depression and grief, her older sister retreats into her bedroom, and her dad has recently left the family to live in another state. Tara isn't sure what to do to pull them back together when something magical starts to happen. Butterflies appear and soon after a letter from Grammy Claire shows up.

The letter contains a mystery, a key and a clue to another letter. Tara discovers that Grammy Claire was afraid that her research on a tropical island had attracted the attention of someone who wanted to take it, someone who may be willing to cause her harm to get it. She calls on Claire to solve the mystery through a series of clues that will lead her to a solution that may protect something precious.

When the Butterflies Came by Kimberley Griffiths Little focuses on the importance family members play in our lives while weaving a tale of mystery and fantasy. Tara feels the importance that Grammy Claire has entrusted something significant to her. As she learns things about herself along the way, she also becomes determined to forge a stronger relationship with her sister and help her mother emerge from depression.

Readers aged 9 to 12 will find a lot to like in Tara's journey of self-discovery set along the bayous of Louisiana and the islands of Micronesia.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book Mom Reviews on May 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Part mystery, part magic, Butterflies intrigued me from the very first line: "The butterfly comes the day after the funeral." Tara has lost her Grammy, who was very much the stabilizing influence in her life. She grieves for her, while trying to cope with all the changes her grammy's death brings--some of them not very pleasant. All of the main characters were well-written and distinct.

The plot moves a little more slowly than Little's previous books, but that gives the reader time to savor and enjoy the writing style, characterization, and detail of the setting. The writing is beautiful. Like her previous books, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, Little absolutely nails the geography and character accents. Her scenes and descriptions are vivid, making me wish I was there on that island with Tara. The details about the butterflies are amazing. And the dialog, as always, is dead-on accurate.

The mystery is age-appropriate. There's a little violence, but it's not too graphic. And I absolutely love the ending.

I recommend this book for middle grade readers, ages 8 to 12 and give it 4 1/2 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andy Nowak on February 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I got it for my daughter and she couldn't stop reading it she is such an avid reader

Anyway awesome book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jer&Taffy on February 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The imagery, action, and mystery of this book are all equally engrossing . It appeals to such a wide range of readers. My ten year old son read it cover to cover non-stop and enjoyed it just as much as I did.
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By Zapkode Marie on August 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
{My Thoughts} – Tara Doucet is a young girl that has lost her Grammy Claire. Her Grammy Claire was the one person in her life that was there for her and the only person in her family that she truly cared about. The day of her Grammy’s funeral she receives a certified letter from her Grammy. The letter begins a sort of treasure hunt that has keys, and riddles that lead and unlock things that only Tara is meant to understand. Her Grammy was a researcher of Butterflies on the Island of Chuuk. All of the letters that Tara received would emphasize how important her quest was and mostly how dangerous it was.

This whole book is based on this treasure hunt that Tara goes on, she drags her Sister Riley along as well. Although I am sure it was Riley decided to go along since she was left deflated when their father had stood her up and lied about sending her a plane ticket so she could visit him. Their mother is in a state of depression and not in the right mind, so she allows the children to go on this quest with the supervision of Grammy Claire’s attorney and close friend.

It turns out that Grammy Claire’s letters couldn’t have been any more true. The girls needed to save Grammy Claire’s research. They needed to save the butterflies because there were a number of suspects mentioned in Grammy Claire’s letters that told the girls to trust no one. To trust no one at all, because if they would start to trust that their lives too would be in danger. It was really hard for Tara not to trust because most the people she had come into contact with on the island seemed like could people, with good hearts and good intentions. But that doesn’t meant that they did have good hearts and or good intentions.
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