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
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