This month we have a special haunted treat for you. Carolee and Caroline will interview Kimberley about her new ghost story. Read the reviews below, then scroll down for the Q&A.
Fall & Spring Book Fairs
Available through Follett and Mackin, Amazon, B&N, any bookstore
"The summer I turned eleven,
I found out that ghosts were real . . ."
Critically acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a haunting story of friendship and family and the power of faith, once again set against the lush backdrop of the Louisiana bayou.
Goodreads Review: Hauntingly beautiful. Terrifying, yet compelling. One of the best Middle Grade novels I've read in years. Kimberley Griffiths Little is a master at bringing readers the perfect story with the exotic flavor of the Bayou mixed in.
Kirkus Reviews: A steamy Louisiana bayou is the atmospheric backdrop to a tale about a daughter's estrangement from her mom, the mother's long-held guilty secret and a restless ghost's long-sought closure . . . A very dramatic climax leads to a sweet, satisfying ending with some surprising twists. For readers who like their ghost stories more friendly than terrifying. (Suspense. 9 -12)
Spellbinders:Circle of Secrets takes place in the same town in the bayous of Louisiana as your first book, The Healing Spell, but it's not a sequel. What is the difference between a sequel and a companion book?
Kimberley: A sequel is a new book in a trilogy or series about the same characters featured in a previous book. Think of Harry Potter and Twilight where the characters of Harry and Bella continue their story with new adventures and problems. A "companion" book is a story set in the same world, but with completely new characters and a new plot.
Spellbinders: Do any of the characters reappear?
Kimberley: Only one character appears in both my books: Miz Mirage Allemand, the traiteur (treater) woman.She was introduced in The Healing Spell and in Circle of Secrets we learn more about her mysterious lifestyle as told through the eyes of her 11 year-old daughter, Shelby.
Spellbinders: Oh, good. She was a delightfully creepy character.
Kimberley: Circle of Secrets also has a mysterious charm bracelet, an antique doll, secrets notes in a bottle tree--and a ghost!
Spellbinders: Is it helpful to read the first book before reading the second?
Kimberley: The two books can be independently read, but I had a lot of fun putting in a few links and ties between the two book that enriches the experience of both stories.
Spellbinders: La Llorona is a wonderful New Mexico ghost story.
Kimberley: Ghost Girl was one of my early attempts at writing and not ready for publication, but I always loved the ghost girl and the secrets she's hiding. I took her out of that old document, brushed her off, and gave her connections to Miz Mirage and Shelby and the swamp--as well as mysterious connections to the charm bracelet, the graveyard, an old porcelain doll, and a deserted island.
Spellbinders: You've been having some jewelry making parties at some of your book signings. Tell us about the charm bracelets.
Kimberley Griffiths Little is the recipient of the Southwest Book Award, The Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, and the author of the highly acclaimed, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, published by Scholastic Press. Look for her books at the Scholastic Book Fairs, as well as two more forthcoming novels in 2012 and 2013. She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful writing workshop and has been a speaker at many conferences. Please visit her website to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides.
Carolee Dean has made numerous appearances as a guest poet/author at schools, libraries, poetry events, and teacher/library conferences. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and a master's degree in communicative disorders, and she has spent over a decade working in the public schools as a speech-language pathologist. Her first novel, Comfort,was nominated as a Best Book for Young Adults, was named the Best YA Novel of 2002 by the Texas Institute of Letters, and was on the TAYSHAS (Texas Library Association) reading list. She conducts teacher trainings on inspiring reluctant writers including "The Secret Language of Stories" and "Random Acts of Haiku."
To find teacher's guides, writing activities, and information about author visits, go to www.caroleedean.com.
Caroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. She's taught English and social studies to upper elementary and middle-school students in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. Back in New Mexico, Caroline now writes middle-grade novels and picture books full time.