Monday, July 30, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Circle of Secrets (with giveaway!)

First of all, the winner drawn for my signed copy of Nate Rocks the Boat is:
Rose Munevar! 
Yippee!! Email your mailing address to barbarawatson94 (at) gmail (dot) com.

And today's feature for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday . . .

Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little.

The very first thing you need to do with this book is gaze at its cover. For a long, long time. And then longer. Erin McGuire is the illustrator, and I adore her style. To gaze upon more of the loveliness she creates, here's Erin's blog: Erin McGuire. And . . . these two, Kimberley and Erin, have teamed up again for the 2013 release of When the Butterflies Came. If you haven't seen that cover, you must!

Now, if you're ready, let's move on to what is under this beautiful cover (if you aren't ready to move on, gaze a bit longer; I totally understand). Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little will steal you away to the Louisiana bayou, and the Spanish moss will wrap you in a mystery of discovery. It's a treasure of a story you won't want to miss. Read on, because at the end of this post, you have a chance to win a signed hardcover of this intriguing story.

The premise: Shelby Jayne's mom left her and her father, and Shelby wants nothing to do with her mamma ever again. But when her dad takes a job across the ocean, Shelby's only choice is to move to the Louisiana bayou . . . and live with her mom.

What keeps readers reading: A mystery that unwinds and untangles a bit more with each page turn. Shelby encounters bullying classmates, danger of the VERY dangerous variety, a girl named Gwen in a graveyard, and a blue bottle tree with mysterious messages inside the bottles. All of these things are tied to pieces of Shelby Jayne's life, pieces she needs to sort through and put back together.

What I loved: Ohhhhh. The setting in Circle of Secrets is so much more than simply a setting. This is one of those stories where the setting is truly a character--every bit as much as Shelby Jayne and her mom are. What a masterpiece of weaving setting with storyline.

Kimberley has offered one signed hardcover of Circle of Secrets for giveaway! Simply leave a comment on this post. Blog followers get their name in the drawing twice. Comment by Sunday, August 5th by 8pm CDT to enter. United States mailing addresses only for this one, please. Winner announced on Monday, August 6th.

Be sure to return on Thursday for an interview with Kimberley Griffiths Little!

For more middle grade recommendations, visit the links at Shannon Messenger's blog. 
Happy middle grade reading!  

30 comments:

  1. I've been meaning to read some of Kimberley's books. Guess I need to bump them up to the top of the list.

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  2. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to Kimberley's interview.

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  3. I love to read this. I am a blog follower! laurisawhitereyes at yahoo dot com

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  4. Kathleen ArmstrongJuly 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    I can already think of some students to recommend this book to. It sounds great!

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  5. I really love Kimberley. She's such a sweetheart. Great interview!!

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  6. Mysterious blue bottles with secrets? Sounds awesome. I'd read it!

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  7. I loved this line so much I had to read it twice: "Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little will steal you away to the Louisiana bayou, and the Spanish moss will wrap you in a mystery of discovery."

    That in itself sold me!! Thanks for the rec Barbara!

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  8. Sounds like a fascinating story. I love a good mystery! And I agree on the cover. It's gorgeous!

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  9. You have to love a mystery, especially set in the south.

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  10. Love your review! It sounds like a wonderful story, and the cover is lovely.

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  11. That is such a beautiful cover. It captures the feel of the south.

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  12. I won something! So excited to read the book with my kids. Thank you and I'll email you.

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  13. Congrats to Rose! I am sure she will love the book.

    I think the cover of Circle of Secrets is beautiful. The story sounds very interesting. I am curious to know more. Thanks somuch for the giveaway. How exciting. :)

    ~Jess
    (also a GFC follower)

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  14. I grew up in Louisiana, and I can attest to its presence as a character rather than just a place. That is an incredibly beautiful cover.

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  15. I am reading this right now! And enjoying it very much I might add! My 10-year-old son read both this book and "The Healing Spell" and loved both!

    And Kimberley is so very nice... I will be interviewing her for an upcoming MMGM post!

    One thing Kimberley did say about the two books (because there are connections between them) is that "I guess technically you should read "The Healing Spell" first but they are stand-alone books (it was a blast to revisit the world in a whole new way). If you're not too far into "Circle of Secrets" you may want to read the other first. The surprise at the end may have more impact."

    Thanks for the Giveaway Barbara (you can leave me off... I already won "The Healing Spell" from Kimberley! :-)

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  16. LOVE the cover. I must read this!

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  17. Wow, I'm with Ruth. Great cover.

    I found you through Ms. Cassie Mae :) LOVE your site!

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  18. This book sounds wonderful! We will definitely be spending some time in the bayou!

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  19. I recently discovered Kimberely and this book is on my to-read list. Would love to win a copy! And I agree, her upcoming book cover is wonderful!

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  20. Love the sound of this book. Another gem to add to my list. :)

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  21. I love good mysteries that unfold so beautifully. Sounds like a great read.

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  22. Ooooh this sounds wonderful, for me and my daughter! Thanks for sharing!

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  23. I just have to jump in here and shout a big THANK YOU to Barbara for featuring my book and all of you for your lovely comments. Thank you, thank you!!!

    Since we're talking atmosphere and setting (which I adore) I'm linking to my book trailer. It was filmed on location (by moi!) and the voice-overs were done by Cajun Kids near Pierre Part, Louisiana.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiTQhFXi0uo

    And here is the trailer for THE HEALING SPELL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k4VaODgUuA

    It has original music written by a friend of mine. :-)

    Enjoy, and I hope you're all having a lovely summer!

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  24. Oh I'm so glad you said to take another look at that coover, because at first glance I didn't catch the subtle lighting in that tree. This makes me wish for the real thing to gaze at even more. So hoping to win!

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  25. This does sound good. I love middle grade. I am also a follower, would love to win and read this book.

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  26. I love a good mystery. Thanks for offering this one to your readers.

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  27. Seriously, I could teach an entire writing class on developing setting based on this story. And the story itself is so marvelous too!

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  28. That is a lovely cover! The story inside sounds just as great. I especially love how the setting seems to be its own character--it's rare for authors to pull that off, but it's always wonderful when they can!

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  29. I would love to read this book! As a 5th grade teacher it sounds like a book my class could really get into! I love the cover and I am so curious about the story. Great review and thanks SO much for the giveaway.

    ~Stephanie
    GFC: Lizzy Mackerville

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