Here we have middle grade expert — and fabulous author — Kimberley Griffiths Little to help us get back to the basics of plotting.
Kimberley Griffiths-Little is a native California girl, but a current resident on a dirt road along the Rio Grande. She’s also the author of The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets with two new titles forthcoming in 2013 (When the Butterflies Came, Scholastic, and Forbidden, Harpercollins). She has received the Southwest Book Award, the Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011, Crystal Kite Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award.
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CIRCLE OF SECRETS by Kimberley Griffiths-Little: 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.
THE HEALING SPELL by Kimberley Griffiths-Little: Twelve-year-old Livie is living with a secret and it’s crushing her. She knows she is responsible for her mother’s coma, but she can’t tell anyone. It’s up to her to find a way to wake her mamma up.
Stuck in the middle of three sisters, hiding a forbidden pet alligator, and afraid to disappoint her daddy, whom she loves more than anyone else, Livie struggles to find her place within her own family as she learns about the powers of faith and redemption. Livie’s powerful, emotional, and sometimes humorous story will stay with readers long after the last line is read.