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!