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LAYLA, QUEEN OF HEARTS by Glenda Millard


by Glenda Millard & illustrated by Patrice Barton

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-374-34360-6
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Layla Elliott and Griffin Silk are best friends, and she’s become a virtual Silk family member. So rather than ask her busy, distracted mom, who never quite hears her, Layla turns to the Silks for help finding an elderly person she can bring to school for Senior Citizens Day. Griffin offers to share his grandma, Nell, since Layla’s own beloved nana died recently. But Nell sees that Layla longs for someone of her own. When their list of Likely Candidates doesn’t pan out, Nell introduces Layla to Miss Amelie. This charming elderly lady remembers some things vividly—such as the mysterious John William she waits for—but forgets who Layla is between visits. Can—should—Layla bring her to school? The theme running through Millard’s Silk family chronicles is the transformative power of empathy. Emotional balm, the source of inspiration and ideas that nourish and enrich the soul, empathy works its magic on everyone, from Miss Amelie to Layla’s impatient mom. Barton’s illustrations gently convey the bonds of affection among the author’s eccentric, engaging characters. (Fiction. 8-11)